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UNC spinoff working to bring customizable infertility treatment to market with 3D printed IVRs

Rahima Benhabbour with her breakthrough product, AnnellO
Rahima Benhabbour with her breakthrough product, AnnellO

AnelleO, a UNC spinoff company, is working to make a customizable drug-delivery platform for women a reality with their first product – AnelleO PRO, a progesterone-releasing intravaginal ring for treatment of infertility. AnelleO was co-founded by Rahima Benhabbour, PhD and Rima Janusziewicz, PhD.

Benhabbour, an Assistant Professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and an NC TraCS KL2 Scholar (2015-2017), has continued her work on 3D printed intravaginal rings as a customizable drug-delivery platform that was supported in its early stages by TraCS pilot funding and continued during her time as a TraCS KL2 Scholar.

Janusziewicz developed expertise in 3D printing during graduate training and was chosen as a MOTRD UP postdoctoral fellow mentored by Benhabbour through our CTSA-funded TL1 Program to learn about commercialization and regulatory approaches to product development.


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Li receives Pathway to Independence Award

Wentao Li, PhD
Wentao Li, PhD

From $2K pilot award to K99/R00 – Li receives Pathway to Independence Award

Wentao Li, PhD, postdoctoral research associate in the Sancar lab, received a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the NIH to further his studies on the role of aflatoxin-induced DNA damage and its repair in hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Underpinning Li’s Pathway to Independence Award is a TraCS $2K pilot award, “Development of Targeted Damage-seq Method for Mapping of the UV-induced DNA Damage Formation in Human Cells.” While the pilot project focused on UV-induced DNA damage, the research method developed and validated in this pilot project has broad applicability for mapping areas of damaged DNA induced by a wide variety of naturally occurring mutagens, such as aflatoxin.


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Researchers develop method for identifying aggressive breast cancer drivers

Xian Chen, PhD
UNC Lineberger's Xian Chen, PhD

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have developed a method to identify patients with aggressive breast cancer that goes beyond the more familiar method of classifying a cancer based on tumor size, spread, tumor subtype, or molecular subtype. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide clinicians with critical information regarding patient response to treatment.

This work was supported in part by a Translational Team Science Award to Xian Chen, PhD and Kristalyn Gallagher, DO titled, "Proteogenomic discovery of patient-specific, phenotypic markers for early diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma." The Translational Team Science Award is a partnership between the UNC School of Medicine Office of Research and NC TraCS.

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Researchers find combined therapy for RA may help speed remission

Katrina Donahue, MD, MPH
Katrina Donahue, MD, MPH

Researchers from RTI and UNC-Chapel Hill analyzed results from 22 studies in a systematic review. Based on this data, the researchers concluded that combination therapy can improve outcomes for some rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Katrina Donahue, MD, MPH, lead author on the systematic review, is Co-Director of the North Carolina Network Consortium (NCNC) and a faculty expert associated with the NC TraCS Community and Stakeholder Engagement (CaSE) program. RTI International, a non-profit research institute based in RTP with offices around the world, is one of our partners.


RTI and UNC-Chapel Hill researchers, including Katrina Donahue, MD, MPH, and Beth Jonas, MD, analyzed results from 22 studies to support combination therapy as a way improve outcomes for some rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, recently found that patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may see less disease activity and higher remission rates after biologic therapy plus methotrexate (MTX) rather than either treatment alone.

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