SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Inanovate Inc. has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help advance a testing process for detecting cancer.
“We’re developing a test for analyzing small blood samples for diagnosing cancer, and our first application is for diagnosing breast cancer,” said David Ure, founder and CEO of Inanovate.
Inanovate currently has offices in the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship in Sioux Falls and at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. In addition, Inanovate has a partnership with Sanford Research in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls is now the official headquarters of Inanovate’s laboratories and offices, Ure said, and operations in the city will increase during the next two years.
Company executives are grateful for help they have received from pro-business offices in South Dakota, including the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Small Business Innovation Research Program, which is affiliated with the South Dakota Small Business Development Center network.
Gary Archamboult, director of the SBIR program in South Dakota, has worked with the company for years to help it strengthen proposals for grants.
Inanovate’s Bio-ID system is a new and better way to screen protein in blood, according to
the company. The process uses disposal test cartridges and a bench-top analyzer to rapidly measure the
concentration of disease-related molecules in patients’ blood samples. Earlier detection of cancer can lead to earlier treatment and better medical outcomes.
“The pre-revenue success of the company is a significant plus for the development of research-related businesses in South Dakota”, said Archamboult, who is also is based in the Zeal Center. “This is really exciting for us.” he said.
South Dakota businesses were doing hardly any grant-funded research prior to 2013, when a National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR conference was held in Sioux Falls. Since then, Inanovate and two other companies in the state have won approximately $6 million in federal grants, Archamboult said.
Nelson expects a few employees to be added in Sioux Falls as the company’s mission shifts to making equipment and supporting applications. The Bio-ID system represents a significant advance in medical technology, said Nelson, who has worked for Inanovate about four years. “
In a 400-patient trial with Sanford Health, more than eight of every 10 cancer cases were correctly identified. “If confirmed through our extended trials, such a test will have a significant impact on clinical practice, saving tens of thousands of lives each year, and improving the quality of life for millions more,” according to the company.