Move over, engineering: Half of Purdue’s 2014 Startups are working on health problems

MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences. Only 5.8% of the student population is enrolled in the Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences programs at Purdue University, but healthcare startups make up half of the university’s new Startup Class of 2014. Twelve […]

MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences.

Only 5.8% of the student population is enrolled in the Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences programs at Purdue University, but healthcare startups make up half of the university’s new Startup Class of 2014. Twelve of this year’s 24 class members are working on healthcare challenges. Doctoral students, professors, and engineers are using technology licensed from the university to bring personalized medicine closer to reality, help people with autism and Parkinson’s communicate more easily, and create 3D maps of arteries.

This year’s class is much bigger than the 2013 group, which included only eight startups. Three companies are focused on consumer products, but the rest are working on technology designed for the pharmaceutical industry and physicians. You can see the entire list here, including links company videos and web sites.

Animated Dynamics Inc., a life sciences firm providing live-tissue imaging technology to improve biodynamic imaging. The technology could help cancer doctors quickly pick the right therapy for patients and be used as a companion diagnostic to determine the effectiveness a particular drug for an individual patient. The company’s first product will be a biodynamic microscope, which will fit on a regular microscope and allow it to do biodynamic imaging.

Aten Biotherapeutics LLC, a life sciences company developing MRI agents that could make imaging sessions longer and safer.

Biokorf LLC, a pharmaceutical company creating prefabricated drug dosages that support patient-centric medicine treatments. The company’s technology is meant to help pharmacists make personalized medicine more widely available. The company’s product is a 3D integrated drug that could include pH matching and  taste masking as well as the drug dose itself.

BlueVine Graphene Industries Inc., an engineering company developing graphene petal structures for biosensors and energy storage.

CPrecisely Inc., a computer technology firm whose technology could make digital text and images on computer screens easier to see.

Drug Free Therapeutix LLC, a biomedical engineering company that improves customization times for neural stimulation treatments for people living with chronic pain. “If we are successful, our tech will let doctors turn up the therapy, turn down the side effects, and send patients home without the need for complicated, time consuming and costly repeat calibration procedures,” said Matthew Ward, the founder and chief science officer of the company.

KinaSense LLC, a life sciences firm developing diagnostic and treatment methods for cancer patients.

Neuro Vigor LLC, a life sciences company developing a technology to reduce symptoms and pain of neurological disease and injury, including MS, neuropathic pain and Parkinson’s disease.

SPEAK MODalities LLC, a software company offering iPAD applications to help children and families dealing with non-verbal autism improve communications and further develop language skills.

SpeechVive Inc., a company developing a product to help those with Parkinson’s disease speak louder and more clearly.

Symic Biomedical Inc., a San Francisco-based biomedical company developing tissue scaffold technology to target tissues that could become vascular. Alyssa Panitch is the founder of Symic said the platform technology can improve the maturation of AV fistulas, prevent scarring, and ease arthritis. The company has signed a term sheet with Lilly Ventures and secured three federal grants.

Vibronix Inc., a life sciences company developing an advanced imaging solution for heart disease diagnosis, treatment guidance and therapeutics development. Ji-Xin Cheng is the co-founder and CEO of the company. He is developing a 1 millimeter sensor that will be inserted into the femoral artery. The sensor emits light through the arterial wall. Lipids respond to the light and emit an acoustic signal that picked up by the sensor. This allows the researchers to create a 3D view of the artery to show the location and amount of lipids in an artery.

Purdue’s Office of Technology Commercialization also reports 156 patents issued this year, up 30 percent from last year as well as 120 licensing deals of Purdue intellectual property to startups and established companies, up 20 percent over 2013. The office also reported royalty income of nearly $7 million, all of which is returned to the inventing faculty and Purdue University. The university also says that the 2014 startups also helped bring more than $20 million in additional funding to Indiana for the 2014 fiscal year through SBIR grants, investments, venture funding and research collaborations.

Earlier this year, Purdue received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association, for its work in developing a culture of innovation and commercialization and for its long-term commitment to supporting startups.


MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences.