Coley Pharmaceutical Group was founded in 1997 as a biopharmaceutical company to discover, develop and commercialize TLR Therapeutics™, a novel class of drug candidates that direct the immune system to fight select diseases including cancer, asthma and allergic disorders, and to enhance the effectiveness of vaccines. TLR Therapeutics act on a specific class of immune system receptors, called Toll-like receptors. Coley closed its Initial Public Offering in August 2005 taking in proceeds of $96 million, plus $10 million from a concurrent private placement with Pfizer. Coley was later acquired by Pfizer Inc. January 14, 2008. Numerous application of TLRs are being developed by Pfizer and with partners, including Sanofi-Aventis, Merck, and Novartis Vaccines. As the licensor of seminal intellectual property conceived by then UI Professor Arthur Krieg and others, the University of Iowa Research Foundation enjoys a close and collaborative relationship with Pfizer.
Founded in 2004, VIDA is the leader in pulmonary image analysis and therapy planning. The company develops and markets software solutions that unlock the power of high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) image data sets of the lung. VIDA's aim is to substantially improve the detection, staging, treatment planning, endoscopic treatment and follow-up care for acute and chronic lung disease, such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). VIDA’s lead product, Pulmonary Workstation 2 received FDA 510(d) clearance in 2008. VIDA is located in Iowa City, Iowa. Recent article on VIDA.
Founded in 2006, Optherion, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing diagnostic and disease-modifying therapeutics for the management and treatment of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other chronic diseases involving the alternative complement cascade. Optherion’s intellectual properties are based on recent scientific discoveries linking specific genes to AMD and various renal diseases. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 in the developed world. In October, 2007, the company raised $37 million in start up financing. In September, 2008, Optherion, Inc. won the Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Award for most venture capital raised in the biotechnology sector. The award is made to companies with an innovative product and a business model that demonstrates potential for future success. The company was also recognized as one of 100 technology “companies to watch” for 2008. Optherion is located in New Haven, Connecticut, USA and on the biotechnology campus of the University of Iowa in Coralville, Iowa, USA.
Exemplar Genetics, Inc
Founded in 2008, Exemplar Genetics is based in Sioux Center, Iowa. The firm bridges the considerable gap between the laboratory mouse and human testing with a patented process featuring a substantially improved animal model: the pig. The core technology from the laboratory of one of the university’s most distinguished research professors, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Michael Welsh. The new venture is dedicated to improving understanding of a variety of genetic diseases and assisting with the discovery of new medical therapies. Exemplar Genetics started as a partnership with Trans Ova Genetics, one of the state’s leading biotech companies, also of Sioux Center, and the University of Iowa.
Terpenoid Therapeutics Inc.
Founded in 2007, Terpenoid Therapeutics Inc., a University of Iowa spinout company with two broad drug development programs, both aimed at treating cancer. The first lead molecule is based on targets within the cholesterol metabolic pathway and is intended to treat metastatic bone disease associated with prostate and breast cancer and multiple myeloma. The second lead is being developed to treat brain cancers. Drug development at Terpenoid Therapeutics Inc. is based on research from the UI departments of Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Internal Medicine and Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI. The company was founded by Drs. Raymond J. Hohl, associate chair of internal medicine, and David F. Wiemer, chair of the Department of Chemistry in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The company is based in Coralville, Iowa.
Founded in 2003, Ovamed GmbH specializes in the development of new treatments using complete biological organisms. Helminthic therapy, developed by scientists at the University of Iowa, is a new and purely biological approach to treat autoimmune diseases such as Crohn`s disease and Ulcerative colitis. Ovamed GmbH was established by Detlev Goj and Alexander Beese, first under the name of Biocure GmbH (changed into Ovamed GmbH in 2004). The company resides in the village of Barsbuettel, Germany, close to the city of Hamburg.
Santos Human Inc. is the for profit company licensed to distribute the world's first virtual human computer model and application able to accurately predict human motion. All of the research and development for this application arose from the research at the College of Engineering's Center for Computer Aided Design Virtual Soldier Research program at the University of Iowa. Funded primarily by the US Army, we conduct basic and applied research for creating new technologies dealing with human modeling and simulation. The objective is to create human-like life on the computer, virtual humans and soldiers that can walk, behave, and talk like we do, yet are able to answer questions in the virtual world. We allow the virtual soldier to experience the product in the virtual world and provide the user with feedback. Our group is one of the largest groups conducting this type of multidisciplinary research consisting of faculty, professional staff, scientists, engineers, clinical researchers, and graduate students who have come together to create this new technology. Our virtual human modeling and simulation environment is called Santos.
ASL Analytical was incorporated in February 2005 by the following founding members: Kenneth D. Legg, Mark A. Arnold, Gary W. Small, and Jonathon T. Olesberg. Dr. Legg is President of ASL Analytical and provides considerable expertise in the glucose sensing market. The company's objective is to develop and market a noninvasive blood glucose monitor. The basis of this monitoring technology is transmission near infrared spectroscopy through a section of human skin. In addition to glucose, this near infrared sensing technology will be capable of monitoring other metabolites, including lactate, urea, ethanol, and other endogenous substances present at millimolar concentrations in the interstitial fluid of skin. Potential applications include the management of diabetes, evaluation of trauma or physical exertion, optimization of hemodialysis, and control of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. The goal is to develop accurate noninvasive sensing technology that can operate under poorly controlled environmental conditions, such as home use by people with diabetes, spacecraft use by astronauts during long-term space flights, or battlefield use by paramedics for triage and life support purposes.