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Release: Jan. 16, 2003

Biotechnology firm Pharmacom locates at UI's Technology Innovation Center

Pharmacom, the newest tenant of the University of Iowa’s Technology Innovation Center (TIC), develops software and biosensor systems for a wide range of applications. At its meeting Jan. 15-16 in Iowa City the Board of Regents, State of Iowa approved the Pharmacom lease of Suite 127 in the TIC, the business incubator on the UI's Oakdale Campus in Coralville.

Biosensors make use of biological molecules to detect and quantify chemicals and microbes in the environment. In conjunction with its patented software modules, biosensor technology will allow Pharmacom to produce better molecular screening systems, smarter miniaturized diagnostics tools, higher speed detection devices, and more effective biodefense solutions.

Potential customers include pharmaceutical and food processing companies, hospitals, forensic labs, and government and military agencies.

The company was co-founded by William X. Wang in 1997 under the trade name AmDev. Over the last five years, AmDev merged with a few small software companies and expanded its research and development facilities in Asia and Europe. In July 2002, AmDev was renamed Pharmacom. The company developed several stand-alone medical software for Asian market and currently has 11 patents and patents-pending in the fields of microfabrication, multiplex biosensing instrumentation, biometrics and aviation security technology.

"Pharmacom is truly unique because it is a semiconductor-based microelectronic biosensing technology company. We are excited to build our company in Iowa, the heartland of America. Our goal is to grow to be an industry leader and provide high-technology employment and educational resources. Too many students, especially in the sciences, seek employment outside the state after they graduate from our fine Iowa universities, and Pharmacom intends to help change this paradigm," said Wang.

Wang is the co-founder, CEO and president of Pharmacom. He earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunology from Columbia University in 1992 and had fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and Oxford University. He has held leadership positions in the information system and pharmaceutical industries at companies including Oracle, Eli Lilly and Chugai Pharmaceuticals.

Edward E. Diehl is Pharmacom's executive director of American operations. Diehl earned a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the UI in 1992 and had fellowships at the Mayo Clinic and Duke University. He has held faculty positions at Barry University in Miami and Northwestern University School of Medicine. He has also held senior scientific positions at pharmaceutical companies including Abbott Laboratories.

With the addition of Pharmacom, the TIC will have 14 tenant companies. Some 20 TIC "graduate" firms have expanded their business or met other business goals after leaving the incubator. More than 65 technology companies have been accepted as TIC tenants since the incubator was established in 1984.

For additional information about Pharmacom, contact Dr. Diehl at 319-335-4771. For information about the TIC incubator, contact Tom Bauer, associate director, at (319) 335-4067.