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Release: Immediate

Biomedical research "spin-off company" to affiliate with UI Technology Innovation Center

AMES, Iowa -- The State Board of Regents today (Wednesday, March 18) approved a lease that will enable Goldfinch Diagnostics Inc. of Iowa City to become a corporate affiliate of the University of Iowa (UI) Technology Innovation Center (TIC) on the Oakdale Research Campus in Coralville.

The lease of laboratory space is effective Wednesday, April 1.

Goldfinch Diagnostics Inc. is a "spin-off" from UI biomedical research. The company was established in 1997 to develop diagnostic assays for infectious diseases. Its current primary project involves the development of an improved immunodiagnostic test for infection with Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite that lives in the bloodstream. This project, developed with the help of the Small Business Development Center at the UI College of Business Administration, is funded by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The firm's president, Louis V. Kirchhoff of Iowa City, is a professor of internal medicine in the UI College of Medicine. He received undergraduate degrees from Harvard University and the University of California at San Diego and M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Yale University.

Kirchhoff has worked in the area of infectious diseases research for more than 15 years. During his 13 years as a faculty member at the UI College of Medicine, he has been principal investigator on a variety of projects funded by the federal government, the state of Iowa, and private foundations.

"We are focusing on the development of diagnostics tests based on genetic engineering techniques to help address infectious disease problems, particularly in Latin American countries. By affiliating with the TIC, our new company will have an opportunity to grow and utilize the research resources of the University." said Kirchhoff.

One of the university's technology transfer programs, the TIC was established in 1984 to nurture new technology-based business ventures and to encourage those companies to establish relationships with the UI.

With the addition of Goldfinch Diagnostics, Inc., the TIC will have 16 tenant companies. Some 13 TIC "graduate" firms remain in business after leaving the incubator.