Friday, August 4, 2017

University of Iowa startup company SynderBio Inc. was the winner of a pitch competition held July 18 as part of the UI Ventures-sponsored Iowa Connect: Medical Technology Symposium, and received a $1,500 check. The company was co-founded by Sarah Vigmostad, associate professor of biomedical engineering, associate faculty research engineer at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, and researcher at the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging.

The half-day event focused on the challenges of developing university research-based medical products, providing talks and networking opportunities. The event included a panel discussion featuring business leaders and investors in the medtech space, as well as a keynote talk by Boston Scientific CEO and University of Iowa alumnus Mike Mahoney, who discussed the ever-changing landscape of medtech.

Incorporated in January 2016, SynderBio is founded on technology developed at the UI and published from the laboratory of Michael Henry in 2012. Henry, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and deputy director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, founded the company with Vigmostad and Mike Cable, a medical device entrepreneur.

SynderBio is a lab automation and cancer diagnostics company. The patented technology is an inexpensive, antibody-free benchtop instrument that rapidly isolates cancer cells, delivering in-tact, viable cells ideal for next-gen sequencing and other diagnostic and research purposes. The company's solution ensures higher-quality input for next-gen sequencing labs, leading to better detection of genetic markers and the delivery of actionable reports to oncologists and patients, much more quickly than is currently possible.

SynderBio already has received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding and has begun work on Phase I to prove the feasibility of developing a product that effectively and rapidly prepares cell suspensions for SCS using SynderBio’s patented methods. The product developed from this project will be an innovative device that can rapidly process viable cell suspensions from tissues for SCS or other applications. This device combines the ability to simultaneously eliminate dead/dying cells and dissociate cell aggregates from a cell population in one step and without using biochemical labels, distinguishing it from any other technology available today.