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Archive for Friday, December 4, 2009

KBA committee OKs funding request

Program to support teens suffering from headaches

December 4, 2009

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The Kansas Bioscience Authority’s investment committee supported a $50,000 funding request from a Lawrence-based company that’s working to improve headache treatment for teens.

ReLive for Kids has asked the KBA to back its effort to commercialize a cognitive behavior therapy program that teens and their parents can access on the Web.

The company, which was incorporated in May 2008, is supported through the Lawrence Regional Technology Center and is using technology developed by two doctors at Kansas University Medical Center.

The investment committee approved the request at its Thursday meeting. That recommendation will be passed onto the entire KBA board in January.

The $50,000 funding would help match a $106,000 grant from the National Institutes for Health.

The product from ReLive for Kids is aimed at helping teens manage their headaches through reducing environmental stressors that can be caused by school, social activity, diets or sleep. The program also looks at relaxation techniques to lessen pain.

“It will equip kids with skills to use on their own,” said Dr. Mark Connelly, who worked to develop the original program as his doctoral dissertation.

Further research is needed to show the program is clinically proven and to study the likelihood that doctors would recommend this product to patients and that patients would then buy the product.

Dennis Depenbusch, managing partner for ReLive for Kids, told the committee a license for the program could cost around $200 apiece.

The company has already produced and pilot-tested a smaller version of the headache management program, which had “excellent initial results in reducing headaches and improving quality of life in young children,” according to a report from the KBA.

The hope is to have the program become part of doctors’ standard of care when treating headaches in teens.

Also on Thursday, the investment committee recommended $500,000 in funding for Kansas State University researchers to study a swine viral disease known as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. The university would work with researchers from China, a country that has lost more than 100 million pigs to the disease, in hopes of better understanding the disease and improving pigs’ immunity to more virulent strains of the disease.

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