Coralville biotech company awarded $2 million Phase II SBIR grant

NanoMedTrix (NMTx), a Coralville, Iowa-based biotech spinoff from the University of Iowa, has been awarded a $2 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to continue groundbreaking treatment of cancer.

The company is based at BioVentures Center of the University of Iowa. Its main focus is to develop nanotechnology-based treatments of various forms of cancer. As a platform technology, NMTx nanoparticles are engineered to enhance simultaneous drug delivery and medical imagery.

The funded project will address bladder cancer, which is the fifth most common form of cancer. Many life-saving drugs have slow absorption in the body, resulting in diminished efficacy. Repackaging the drugs as nanoparticles improves the drugs’ stability and even allows for targeted delivery. In this pandemic era, distance monitoring can improve health care safety and costs. The company’s technology allows for remote cancer treatment monitoring through rapid contrast ultrasound imaging combined with detailed MRI scans.  

The grant follows previous capital from NSF, NIH and private companies totaling over $1 million with pending additional investments. NMTx is further seeking $3 million in private matching funds with which to complete pre-clinical testing and satisfy FDA regulatory requirements prior to clinical trials. A second round of funding is anticipated prior to the company’s next phase of-clinical trials.