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$350K grant funds more research with olive oil breakthroughs developed at ULM

Published October 23, 2018

Research into the treatment of Alzheimer's disease using a component of virgin olive oil, which the process of extracting was developed by researchers at the University of Louisiana Monroe, will continue thanks to a $350,000 grant. The grant was announced Monday at a press conference at ULM. The funding is from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.



ABOVE: Attending the press conference were, from left, Dr. Eric Pani, ULM Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dr. Jim Cardelli, Oleolive CTO and Segue Science Management co-founder; Kylie Grant, Oleolive CEO and SSM financial consultant; Dr. John Sutherlin, ULM Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research; Dr. Alana Gray, Oleolive COO and SSM co-founder; Dr. Glenn Anderson, ULM Dean of the College of Pharmacy; and ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno. 

Jeanette Robinson/ULM Photo Services

“Research is very important. ULM is positioned to do some significant research in every college. So the call has gone out and the response has been very positive – 73 new awards this year, 65 last year,” said ULM President Nick J. Bruno. “Patenting research that has economic value, that is the priority here at ULM. But also the research that improves the standard of living for the citizens of this region and the state. We are very well positioned to help in so many areas of need. Not only here in north Louisiana, but throughout the Delta Region.”

The grant went to the company Oleolive, which licensed the ULM technology of extracting oleocanthal from virgin olive oil. The process was discovered by Dr. Khalid El Sayed of the ULM School of Pharmacy and his former research partner Dr. Amal Kaddoumi. Kaddoumi is now at Auburn University and will conduct the continuing research.

Revenue from Oleolive and future licensed technologies returns to ULM as royalties.
Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Dr. John Sutherlin said, “One of the things that we wanted to do was make sure that we were investing the precious dollars that we had, whether in the forms of grants or matching funds, whatever it was, into programs that could make money for the university. That is the purpose of a licensing agreement, to get our products out there. Certainly to impact the quality of life and also to provide a steady revenue stream over time. Nothing is developed overnight. We all wish it would happen immediately and that’s not the way success becomes sustainable. We’re committed to the long term.”

Sutherlin continued, commenting on other profitable possibilities for the university saying, “We had meetings last week for everything from nursing to radiotechnology and other pharmacy applications. So there are lots of things going on and very exciting times for us.”

Coincidentally, the press conference was held on the one year anniversary of ULM signing an agreement with Segue Science Management, the company which negotiated the licensing of the olive oil research with ULM.

Attending from Oleolive were CTO Dr. Jim Cardelli, COO Dr. Alana Gray and CEO Kylie Grant.  Cardelli and Gray are co-founders and facilitators of Segue Science Management and Grant is financial consultant. Both companies are located in Shreveport.