BEDMINSTER, N.J., Nov. 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:MTNB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing safe and effective broad spectrum therapeutics for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections, announced today that Raphael Mannino, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Matinas, and co-inventor Ruying Lu will receive the 2016 Edison Patent Award from the Research & Development Council of New Jersey in the drug delivery technology category for the cochleate technology they developed in collaboration with Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. The award will be presented to Dr. Mannino and Ms. Lu at the council's annual awards event being held this evening. Dr. Mannino and Ms. Lu, former researchers in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, are the co-inventors of Matinas' proprietary, disruptive lipid-crystal nano-particle cochleate technology. Cochleate technology represents a broad based, disruptive drug formulation and delivery technology utilizing a unique lipid-crystal nano-particle to nano-encapsulate existing drugs and other biologically active compounds, making them safer, more tolerable, less toxic and orally bioavailable. Matinas is currently utilizing the cochleate technology to develop safe and effective broad spectrum therapeutics for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections. Dr. Mannino commented, "We are incredibly proud to receive recognition for our proprietary cochleate technology platform and are honored to have been given the Edison Patent Award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey." Matinas BioPharma's lead anti-infective product in development, MAT2203 is an orally-administered, encochleated formulation of amphotericin B (a broad spectrum fungicidal agent). Utilizing cochleate technology, MAT2203 has the ability to provide amphotericin B via its proprietary and novel oral formulation which may offer a new and promising alternative for patients and doctors. Patient dosing is currently underway for the Phase 2a NIH/NIAID-funded clinical study with MAT2203 in patients with refractory mucocutaneous candidiasis. MAT2203 is also being explored for treatment of additional anti-fungal indications and may have the potential for Orphan Drug Designation in certain of these indications. The Company expects to report topline data from its Phase 2a study of MAT2203 in the first half of 2017. MAT2501, is the Company's orally-administered, encochleated formulation of the broad spectrum IV-only aminoglycoside antibiotic agent amikacin, which utilizes the Company's proprietary, lipid-crystal, nanoparticle delivery technology. MAT2501 is specifically designed to provide targeted delivery of the potent antibiotic amikacin while providing a significantly improved safety and tolerability profile. Matinas received FDA clearance to initiate a Phase 1 clinical study of MAT2501 for the treatment of non-tuberculous mycobacterium infections. The FDA has designated MAT2501 as a QIDP and an Orphan Drug for the treatment of NTM infections. The Company intends to initially develop MAT2501 for the treatment of NTM infections and will also explore the development of MAT2501 for the treatment of a variety of multi-drug resistant, gram negative bacterial infections. If approved, Matinas believes MAT2501 would become the first orally bioavailable aminoglycoside and represent a significant improvement over existing therapies from a treatment and health economic perspective. About the Research & Development Council of New Jersey For more than half a century, the Research & Development Council of New Jersey has been dedicated to cultivating an environment supportive of the advancement of research and development in New Jersey. Established in 1962, the Council was created to serve as a unified voice for the three R&D sectors — industry, academia and government — to work with the State to create an environment R&D could thrive in. The R&D Council is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose membership includes representatives from academia, government and industry, including several Fortune 500 companies. More information can be found at the R&D Council's website: www.rdnj.org. About Rutgers Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university. Established in 1766 and celebrating a milestone 250th anniversary in 2016, it is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the nation. More than 69,000 students and 22,000 faculty and staff learn, work and serve the public at sites across New Jersey and around the world. Rutgers-New Brunswick is the state's only public institution in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers belongs to the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which comprises 14 world-class research universities. It is among the top 20 public U.S. universities for total R&D funding, and over the past two years has seen a 22 percent increase in research grants and sponsored programs, up to $637.9 million in FY2016. The Office of Research and Economic Development is a central point for industry to access Rutgers and offers a website for industry: businessportal.rutgers.edu. About Matinas BioPharma Matinas BioPharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing safe and effective broad spectrum therapeutics for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections. The Company's proprietary, disruptive technology utilizes lipid-crystal nano-particle cochleates to nano-encapsulate existing drugs, making them safer, more tolerable, less toxic and orally bioavailable. The Company's lead drug candidate is MAT2203, an orally-administered, encochleated formulation of amphotericin B (a broad spectrum fungicidal agent). The Company has an open Investigational New Drug (IND) application for MAT2501, which is an orally-administered, encochleated formulation of amikacin (a broad spectrum aminoglycoside antibiotic agent) for acute bacterial infections, including non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) and multi-drug resistant gram negative bacterial infections.