Uncle Sam Delivers $18.4M in Research Awards to Michigan Biotechs

Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor — 

Usually, people pay the Internal Revenue Service. But this week the IRS announced awards to biotech companies in Michigan and elsewhere in the U.S. through the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program.

The program awarded 57 Michigan firms a total of $18.4 million in grants, according to the IRS website. The program’s grants and tax credits—which are intended to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of qualified biomedical research projects—are part of the $1 billion in funding for the program that was established through the federal healthcare reform legislation passed in March.

These awards have been given to companies to support research in 2009 and 2010 that can improve healthcare and fuel the economy. The funding is especially important to small firms that can use the money for research that otherwise might have been difficult to finance. Indeed, it’s difficult to come by traditional sources of financing for young companies such as venture capital nowadays.

Apparently, these awards are a big deal for the recipients. For instance, Ann Arbor-based Adeona Pharmaceuticals (AMEXAEN) was awarded two grants totaling $488,959 under the program. Those funds will not only support the firm’s Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis research programs, but they also make up about 38 percent of the firm’s annual research budget, according to the company.

The program awards to each firm were commonly about $245,000, but there were a couple of companies in Michigan working on multiple projects who got more than $1 million—Michigan Critical Care Consultants, or MC3 ($1.1 million), and NanoBio ($1.2 million).

Below is a list of each company that received one or more grants and the total amount of funding. Here’s a link to the IRS website for more detailed information about each of the grants and the research they will support. (Also, look for links to Xconomy’s recent stories about the grant recipients in the list below).

Aastrom Biosciences $244,479

Accord Biomaterials $699,370

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