Companies with UI ties win state funding
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Three companies with ties to the University of Iowa have obtained $750,000 in funding from the state to expand their businesses, create jobs, and further develop their products.
Memcine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., NanoMedtrix, LLC, and Iowa Approach, LLC were awarded direct financial assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The funding is designed to help these and other companies move their basic research forward with the goal of commercializing the technologies or products.
“I am pleased to see basic research hatched in laboratories at the University of Iowa turn into companies that compete successfully for funding to further their ideas and expand their operations,” says Daniel Reed, the UI’s vice president for research and economic development. “These state funds spur startups and economic development in Iowa. Our goal is to help UI-spawned technologies lead to companies that grow and add jobs for Iowans.”
Memcine Pharmaceuticals received $500,000 from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund. The company, founded in 2010, develops next generation vaccine platform technology aimed at transforming the global vaccine market. Its product, Immunoplex, enhances the immune response to vaccine components by targeting them for immune recognition by the body’s natural defenses. The company is located at the UI Research Park in Coralville.
NanoMedTrix was awarded $150,000 through the Demonstration Fund. The company, founded last year, is developing technology with potential use as a noninvasive diagnostic tool as well as in stem cell tracking. The company’s founder, president and chief scientific officer is Jose Assouline, an adjunct associate professor in biomedical engineering at the UI. It is also located at the UI Research Park.
Iowa Approach received $100,000 from the Iowa Acceleration Fund. The company, founded last year, is working on a collection of catheter-based tools used to treat atrial fibrillation. The state funding allows the firm to seek strategic partnerships and receive valuable consulting from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company’s president is Steven Mickelsen, a fellow in the cardiology department at the UI.
The three companies have optioned or licensed their technologies from the University of Iowa Research Foundation, or are just completing those agreements, according to Zev Sunleaf, the foundation’s executive director.