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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Venture capital backed is getting a $3 million boost for its nanotechnology manufacturing process from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) picked Liquidia for one of 20 grants awarded through its Technology Innovation Program.

Liquidia is developing a proprietary nano-maufacturing technology called PRINT that the firm believes will enable development of particles for use in drug and vaccine development.

“As an industry, we are on the cusp of great therapeutic advancements in areas where unmet medical needs still persist,” said Neal Fowler, Liquidia’s chief executive officer in a statement. “An investment such as this plays a critical role in enabling Liquidia to advance innovative products to the next stage of development where we will begin to see the true potential for patients.”

According to Liquidia, its PRINT process can produce what it calls “precisely engineered particles: for “safer and more efficient delivery” of vaccines and drugs.

Liquidia, which was founded in 2004,

The company closed on $7 million in new funding in July.

Its first target is a vaccine, which Liquidia hopes to have in clinical trials by late 2010. Several pharmaceutical firms have already licensed Liquidia technology for drug development, according to Fowler.

In January, Liquidia announced a partnership with Abbott to develop means of delivering drugs through nanotechnology.

The PRINT process uses nanotechnology to produce thin films that can be used for light management and other uses.

Its technology is based on materials known as fluoropolymers that are liquids at room temperature but cure to transparent solids when exposed to lights. Liquidia has developed a material platform technology called Fluorocur, which enables the mass production of precise and uniform micro-sized and nano-sized particles