DENTON (UNT), Texas — A new collaboration between LaCore Labs and the University of North Texas will include a $1 million gift eligible for matching funds from the Texas Research Incentive Program, a new laboratory, sponsored research, a license to UNT technology and real-world opportunities for students.
In a first of its kind collaboration, LaCore Labs, the developer of custom-formula health products based in Melissa, Texas, will establish an innovation center at UNT, a Tier One research university. The five-year agreement will develop the first ISO-compliant quality assurance lab specifically within the nutraceutical space. LaCore signed a five-year lease and converted space to wet labs, an investment exceeding $600,000, at UNT’s Inspire Park, a business incubator in Frisco, Texas, that houses start-up and technology companies and features classroom and laboratory spaces.
“We are excited to collaborate with UNT and successfully marry innovation and commercialization,” said Terry LaCore, for LaCore Labs.
Additionally, LaCore Labs has licensed patented technology from UNT for an improved patch delivery system for prescription medications or nutraceuticals, developed by Guido Verbeck, College of Science chemistry professor and director of the Laboratory of Imaging Mass Spectrometry at UNT.
College of Science faculty and students are actively involved in the development of the quality assurance lab. Internships at the newly opened facility will provide students with real-world experience. LaCore also hopes to hire UNT graduates from the lab to join their team.
“This is exactly the type of relationship we want to cultivate. This is not just sponsored research, a gift or a commercial license, but all of them integrated into one public-private collaboration that will benefit the company, students, researchers and the entire university," said Michael Rondelli, associate vice president for research commercial agreements. “This connection to LaCore gives students experience that puts them years ahead.”
The $1 million gift is eligible for $750,000 in matching funds from the Texas Research Incentive Program, which assists designated emerging research universities in leveraging private gifts for the enhancement of research productivity. An additional $500,000 sponsored research grant will support Verbeck’s research at UNT.