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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA


Oct 9, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced a $1.5 million Defense Department grant for Riptide Bioscience, Inc.  Riptide Bioscience is based in Vallejo on Mare Island. The grant, part of the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), will go towards a research project titled the “Evaluation of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides as Topical Anti-Infectives with Broad Spectrum Activity Against Combat-Related Bacterial and Fungal Wound Infections.”

"For several years, Riptide has been doing cutting-edge medical research right here in Vallejo," said Thompson.  "Their research into wound-healing applications will provide great benefits to those in our military as well as the general population.  Some 75 percent of recent war injuries are the result of ballistic wounds, and our Riptide is finding new and better methods to fight infections that result from those wounds. Their work will benefit our local economy, and I'm proud to support this kind of leading medical science emerging from our district."

Henry Lopez, Executive Vice President of Riptide, said, "The research funded by this grant has huge potential to improve outcomes for war-wounded servicemen and women, and also civilian patients suffering from everyday wounds and trauma."

Lopez continued, "This grant was one of only five funded in a tremendously competitive process involving some 280 applications from top research institutions across the nation.  So we see it as powerful affirmation for the peptide-based therapeutics Riptide is developing."

L. Edward Clemens, Principal Investigator on the Defense Department project, added, "As exciting as it is to improve the medical science behind wound healing, the work done here may have even wider application. One of the biggest challenges in our health system is the growing resistance of bacteria to conventional antibiotics.  As those drugs are more widely used, bacteria mutate around the metabolic pathways the drugs use to kill germs.  This is a crisis in the making.   Some estimates suggest that in just a few years, antimicrobial resistance will lead to more deaths than cancer and diabetes combined."

"But Riptide's agents don't work through the usual pathways," Clemens continued.  They kill bacteria in ways much harder to mutate around.  We expect these drugs to be a big part of the medical armament against the germs of the future."

Riptide Bioscience’s research involves the development of Designed Host Defense Peptides (dHDPs). HDPs are small molecular weight proteins that fight against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.


Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.


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