NanoMedTrix, UI research spinoff firm, wins first-of-its-kind grant
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NanoMedTrix, a 1-year-old Coralville firm based upon University of Iowa research that may one day save lives by helping physicians identify bladder and colon cancers at early stages of development, recently received a grant that is the first of its kind.
In May the company became the first recipient of a grant from the Iowa Innovation Corporation, which administers the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Outreach Program in Iowa. The program provides up to $25,000 in assistance to Iowa companies.
Located in the BioVentures Center building at the University of Iowa Research Park, the firm has also received seed funding from the UI and the Iowa Demonstration Fund.
“NanoMedTrix is developing the use of nanoparticles, particles 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, to help physicians diagnose potential cancers more accurately and less invasively than in the past,” says Dr. Joe Assouline, Ph.D., NanoMedTrix president, founder and chief scientific officer. He is also a faculty biomedical engineer in the UI College of Engineering and Center for Computer Aided Design.
“We are working towards scaling up production of our particles to make them commercially available to researchers,” says Assouline. “We are also part of a number of important collaborations with researchers and clinicians at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics.
He notes that the firm also has the support of the UI Research Foundation and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
“We are excited about the prospect of pre-clinical trials in the near future, while looking in the long run to having our products approved by the FDA for use in humans,” he says. “We have a great opportunity to take a huge step forward in the fight against cancer, and we will work tirelessly to achieve that goal.”