Corvida Medical, a medical device company started by two University of Iowa alumni, announced Wednesday it has received a major grant from the National Cancer Institute.
The three-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant will help support the company's efforts to commercialize a series of medical devices it developed to protect health-care workers and patients from toxic exposure to chemotherapy drugs.
The SBIR grant, which could total more than $2 million, will allow Corvida to offset the costs of achieving U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and to conduct a multi-pharmacy practice trial, said John Slump, Corvida's co-founder and chief financial officer. The company has also received support from a number of private investors, he said.
The company has received commitments from more than 15 institutional cancer centers to test the devices next year.
Slump and another University of Iowa graduate, Jared Garfield, started the company while they were undergraduate students in the John Pappajohn entrepreneurial program.
"We actually started the business a few years ago when my sister was diagnosed with melanoma and we learned about all the risks to health-care workers," Slump said.
In May, Corvida received a $500,000 commercialization funding award from the state's new Iowa Innovation Acceleration Program, which has enabled the company to secure top healthcare experts as part of its management team.
Currently located at the Technology Innovation Center at the University of Iowa Research Park, the startup company is a finalist in this year's John Pappajohn business plan competition.