INDIANAPOLIS — YC Bioelectric LLC received a Notice of Award from the National Institutes of Health for its Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer proposal, “Multi-Blot Western Device.” The award will provide $307,787 of funding over a 12-month period for the development and commercialization of this novel device.
Stanley Chien and Hiroki Yokota, both faculty at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, co-founded YC Bioelectric through the Indiana University Research & Technology Corp.’s Spin Up Program. Their work will significantly improve the speed and accuracy of a technique, widely used in molecular biology labs, called a Western blot.
“This is a great story about scientists, an electrical engineer and biomedical engineer, collaborating across disciplines to solve a real-world problem,” said Joe Trebley, head of IURTC’s Spin Up Program.
Chien and Yokota’s work was initially funded through an internal granting mechanism at IUPUI called Funding Opportunities for Research Commercialization and Economic Success. The co-founders used the initial funds to develop and build a prototype device.
“We are delighted that the internal grant program played a key role in enabling these researchers to transform their research findings into commercially viable outcomes,” IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Research Kody Varahramyan said.
In June 2012, YC Bioelectric received an exclusive option to intellectual property filed through the IURTC, and in February 2014, YC Bioelectric received a notice of allowance on its lead patent US 13/282,030.
“With funding from the NIH and the allowed patent, YC Bioelectric has a lot of momentum right now,” Yokota said.
Over the next 12 months, YC Bioelectric will be developing versions of its prototype that other researchers can test in their labs. Once the prototype is validated in external labs, YC Bioelectric will seek follow-on financing from investors and through the NIH’s Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer.
“There is a lot of potential here, and we are very thankful to IUPUI, IURTC and the NIH for the support they have provided,” Chien said.