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NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harris & Harris Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:TINY), an investor in transformative companies enabled by disruptive science, is pleased to announce the founding of ProMuc, Inc., and our initial investment of $350,001. ProMuc brings together the expertise of Prof. Katharina Ribbeck at MIT, a leading researcher on mucin biology, and the carbohydrate chemistry technology of Corden Pharma to focus on the development of synthetic mucins for lubrication and antimicrobial applications.
Mucins are a special class of glycoproteins. They are the main component of mucus, which lines many important human organs, and the mucus surrounding the intestinal wall is associated with the gut microbiome. Mucins perform many critical functions during embryonic development and in the maintenance of general health. These include providing lubrication and serving as an anti-microbial barrier to external pathogens. A better understanding of mucins has the potential to allow us to design better biomimetic materials for a wide variety of commercial applications, including lubricants, food additives, anti-microbial coatings, and anti-cancer vaccines.
"Similar to our investment in AgBiome, where we are focusing on the microbiome at the interface of the plant and soil for the advancement of agriculture technology, we believe a better understanding of the mucus environment and its properties, including its associated microbiome, will lead to important advances in the health and nutrition industries," said Douglas Jamison, CEO of Harris & Harris Group. "We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Prof. Katharina Ribbeck at MIT and with Corden Pharma to advance these breakthroughs."
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