Pictured left to right: Eric Hoffman, PhD; John Garber; Juerg Tschirren, PhD; Milan Sonka, PhD; and Joe Reinhardt, PhD (Geoff McLennan not pictured)

By:  Shaina Tromp

VIDA Diagnostics, a venture out of the University of Iowa Research Park (UIRP) BioVentures Center, recently received $2 million in funding from Next Level Ventures (NLV), a Des Moines venture capital firm created to invest in Iowa companies.  This $2 million investment and the $500,000 Iowa Innovation Fund granted in September total $2.5 million dollars in funding to assist with the advancement of the company.  The company plans to use the funding from the state and Next Level Ventures to expand sales, improve its technology and hire more people.    

The company was founded by University of Iowa’s Eric Hoffman, professor of radiology, medicine and biomedical engineering; Geoffrey McLennan, professor of internal medicine, radiology and biomedical engineering; Joe Reinhardt, professor of biomedical engineering; and Milan Sonka, professor of electrical and computer engineering. It created its product by licensing software and intellectual property through the University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF). 

VIDA Diagnostics specializes in software that takes data from high-resolution volumetric computed tomography-based images of the lung and extracts quantitative information related to the state of the airways and lung tissue.  These measures are being used both clinically and in numerous large international studies seeking to identify new hardware and pharmaceutical interventions for lung diseases. 

Next Level Ventures focuses on Iowa businesses that can scale rapidly and are involved in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries, like VIDA Diagnostics.  VIDA Diagnostics is the first University of Iowa based company in which NLV has invested.  

About UIRF:  The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) is a 501C3 corporation that commercializes UI-developed technologies and inventions through licensing and new venture formation, and manages the subsequent revenue stream. The UIRF’s primary functions include identifying and developing new ventures, finding partners for commercializing and intellectual property services. More at https://research.uiowa.edu/uirf/.

About the University of Iowa:  The UI Research Foundation and UI Research Park are both part of the University of Iowa Office of Research and Economic Development, which supports and advances research, scholarship, and creative activity on the campus. Through a broad variety of activities and services, it seeks to play an important role in the underpinning of these creative activities in the public and private sectors of Iowa and beyond.