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.