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BOULDER — Boulder biotech company New Iridium Inc. has received a National Science Foundation grant to fund research and development of a process to optimize production of Remdesivir, a potential life-saving drug to combat COVID-19.

The NSF awarded New Iridium a $256,000 Small Business Technology Transfer grant to conduct the research. New Iridium develops commercialized photocatalysis technologies to accelerate drug development and manufacturing.

The grant funds development of an optimized manufacturing process for Remdesivir that uses photocatalysis, a chemical technology that uses light rather than heat, thereby reducing manufacturing costs and time. The project will explore new production methods using organic photocatalysts to develop a shorter manufacturing process that will increase production of Remdesivir.

“COVID-19 is taking an unprecedented toll in both human life and economic impact,” Chern-Hooi Lim, founder and CEO of New Iridium, said in a prepared statement. “Our photocatalysis platform has the potential to speed production and increase product yields to expand availability of Remdesivir to people around the world suffering from COVID-19.”

New Iridium’s technology was developed in cooperation with the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University. The platform improves efficiencies in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing processes.

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