October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Purdue University backs $250K for life sciences companies through Emerging Innovations Fund

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Two life sciences companies that are commercializing Purdue University innovations can receive up to $250,000 in investments from the Emerging Innovations Fund, an evergreen fund created to accelerate the commercialization of early-stage discoveries.

Medtric Biotech LLC received $100,000 and Microfluidic Innovations LLC received $75,000 with a potential to receive an additional $75,000 if certain performance milestones are met. The Emerging Innovations Fund is the source of investment funds that are recommended by graduate and undergraduate Purdue students in the Student Managed Venture Fund, an experiential learning course that involves a partnership between the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Purdue Research Foundation.

“The Emerging Innovations Fund provides an integrated approach to research and innovation by bridging the gap between a startup’s formation and third-party financing,” said Elizabeth Hart-Wells, assistant vice president and director of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. “In this way, the fund provides critical support for entrepreneurs who are finalizing the development of a technology and are ready to move an innovation to the public.”

Richard Cosier, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, said this round of awards shows how Purdue students are proving their abilities at developing companies from concept to product.

“Medtric Biotech’s officers include current Purdue students and recent alumni, and the CEO of Microfluidic Innovations also is a Purdue alumnus,” Cosier said. “These students and alumni are proof that the university can strengthen the skills of entrepreneurs as they build and develop companies that can have a positive impact on lives around the world.”

Medtric Biotech, based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, has developed patent-pending products that fight infection and enhance the wound-healing process. Sean Connell, president and COO, said the company is actively seeking strategic partners to access over-the-counter and health-and-beauty markets.

“Medtric’s antimicrobial technology can potentially target a diverse group of market opportunities ranging from general disinfectants in the household to advanced wound dressings in the clinic. Currently, we’re looking for the right partners to help us enter these markets,” he said. “The Emerging Innovations Fund is a tremendous help for our development because now we can finalize testing and begin manufacturing our products.”

Microfluidic Innovations has developed a system to help researchers perform life science assays at microfluidic, or sub-millimeter, scale where experiments can be conducted faster, less expensively and with higher precision. The system is programmable, which allows researchers to control the experiments they conduct. CEO Ahmed Amin said the system offers variable volume/variable ratio mixing, incubation, automatic fluid routing and on-chip pumping. The system has been used for diverse assays such as glucose level detection, enzyme kinetics research, particle sorting, bacteria culturing and cancer drug efficacy. It also is compatible with optical detection devices.

“Microfluidic Innovations is leading a paradigm shift in the way assay development is conducted. Our programmable AssayMark system eliminates the time consuming and expensive design-fabricate-test cycles incurred by today’s microfluidic assay development methods and replaces it with simple programming instructions that run on a highly integrated microfluidic chip,” he said. “We are fortunate to receive the EIF investment, which will advance our entry into the commercial and academic markets and help us achieve our ultimate goals of accelerating the preclinical drug discovery process and bringing new diagnostic tests to the market.”

About the Emerging Innovations Fund

In 2008 Purdue Research Foundation introduced the Emerging Innovations Fund, an integrated approach to research innovation, development and commercialization. The Emerging Innovations Fund is a self-sustaining initiative that brings together ideas, management and money to accelerate the commercialization of early stage technologies in the Purdue community.

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