Purdue Startups Hit 'Gold' Status

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LoDos Theranostics says its therapy deploys low-energy ultraviolet light within the tumor to kill cancer cells. LoDos Theranostics says its therapy deploys low-energy ultraviolet light within the tumor to kill cancer cells.
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The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund has awarded a total of $240,000 to three Purdue University startups. The funding from the joint venture between Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures and Purdue Foundry gives the startups "Gold Award" investment status.

LoDos Theranostics LLC, Penguin Innovations Inc. and PinpointPharma LLC each received $80,000 to advance their companies, Purdue says. Each company had previously received $20,000 through the joint venture's "First-Tier Black Awards." 

"The startups that have received funding through this program have continued to advance their innovation and demonstrate strong commercial potential," said Chris LaMothe, chief executive officer of Elevate Ventures. "These are prime examples of the successful startup ecosystem being created at Purdue and elsewhere across Indiana. University and industry research, coupled with public and private support, provides a strong foundation to create jobs and foster economic growth."

LoDos Theranostics has developed technology aimed at enhancing the cancer cell-killing effects of radiation, which would reduce radiation doses and its side effects. The company previously won the $25,000 top prize at last year's New Venture Competition at the Indiana Life Sciences Summit. Inside INdiana Business Reporter Kylie Veleta profiled the company in the Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter.

Penguin Innovation is working to commercialize a certified virtual pharmacy cleanroom laboratory for students and industry professionals to give them "practical experience in creating sterile, accurately prepared products," according to the university. The company was co-founded by Purdue Associate Provost for Engagement Steve Abel and Purdue College of Pharmacy Center for Medication Safety Advancement Associate Director John Hertig.

PinpointPharma LLC is also working to commercialize a portable inkjet printer it says will produce precise, personalized medication dosages more quickly than conventional methods. Purdue says the process could improve overall drug effectiveness and decrease patient side effects.

"It is interesting to note that all three of the recipients in this round are members of the Purdue Startup Class of 2016 and Purdue Foundry, which says a lot about the Purdue startup process and progression with the support from the state’s Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund,” said John Hanak, managing director of Purdue Ventures. "More than 60 startups have now received critical investments through the black and gold awards supported through this fund. These are all companies that demonstrate a strong potential for success in moving life-changing technologies to the market."

Since the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund was established in 2014, 60 startups have received a total of $2.18 million in investment funding. The money can be used for commercialization, market research, product development and prototype creation.

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