Two companies based on Purdue intellectual property win TechPoint Mira Awards

May 4, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two high-tech companies based on intellectual property discovered and developed at Purdue University's College of Science and College of Health and Human Sciences were recognized by TechPoint, Indiana's technology growth initiative, during the 16th annual Mira Awards.

Animated Dynamics Inc., whose technology could improve personalized cancer care, won the Tech Innovation of the Year Award.

SPEAK MODalities LLC, whose technology helps improve communication for children and families affected by severe, nonverbal autism, won the Education Tech Award.

David Nolte, president of Animated Dynamics, said chemotherapy selection today is based on a standard of care that tries to fit a single therapy to all patients, even though every patient has their own unique disease.  Part of the problem has been the use of cell culture in drug development and therapy selection.

"The biology happening in cell culture is not the biology that goes on inside a tissue. There are differences in how cells respond to drugs in a three-dimensional environment, which means the results that occur in culture dishes may not be the same as the results that occur in the body," said Nolte, who also is a professor in Purdue's Department of Physics and Astronomy.  "The advantage our technology provides is that it can help with therapy selection by testing drug combinations on patient biopsies to fit the best therapy to the individual patient."

A video about Animated Dynamics is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWGv7h54mLE.

SPEAK MODalities is providing iPad apps called SPEAKall!™ and SPEAKmore!™ that help children with autism develop functional communication and emerging speech and language skills. SPEAKall!™ is an autism-specific communication app that helps children construct and speak out simple sentences via graphic symbols. SPEAK more!™ targets vocabulary learning and enhances complexity of utterances in learners with autism at the beginning language stage.

"We developed the SPEAKall! app and began providing a free version through iTunes in 2012, and within a year the app was downloaded more than 10,000 times," said Oliver Wendt, an assistant professor in Purdue's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. "Even more importantly, research on the app has demonstrated benefits for children, families and caregivers who face the challenges of nonverbal autism."

A video about SPEAK MODalities is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AabR3FV9roY.

Animated Dynamics and SPEAK MODalities licensed their technology through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and received guidance through the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Greg Deason, executive director of Purdue Foundry and Purdue Research Park, said the TechPoint recognition confirms that Purdue innovators have the ability to impact lives around the world.

"Purdue University's faculty, staff and students are strengthening an environment in Greater Lafayette in which innovators in the laboratory, classroom and field who wish to become entrepreneurs can receive professional assistance and advice in their endeavors," he said. "Animated Dynamics and SPEAK MODalities, members of the Startup Class of 2014, are two examples among many that show world-class research conducted at Purdue has real-world impact on people's lives."

Other companies based on Purdue intellectual property or headquartered in the Purdue Research Park network and centers located on the Purdue University campus were nominated for Mira Awards. They are:

* ActiveLesson, whose technology could deliver educational content to students in an interactive and engaging fashion, was nominated in the Education Tech Award category.

* CPrecisely, whose technology could allow people to see digital content with increased sharpness on displays like tablets, smartphones and laptops without the need for corrective eyewear, was nominated in the Tech Startup of the Year category. A video about CPrecisely is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXH1KmwHSC4.

* DATTUS, whose technology could predict failure in industrial rotating machinery, reduce maintenance expenditures and improve worker safety, was nominated in the Tech Startup of the Year category.

* IV Diagnostics, which was formed to develop, test and market more effective diagnostic tools for addressing rare circulating tumor cells and blood-borne diseases, was nominated in the Health Tech Award category.

* KinaSense, whose technology could help oncologists see faster than ever which drug therapies will benefit cancer patients and to what extent, was nominated in the Health Tech Award category. A video about KinaSense is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igR19D_Ym7s.

* Mimir, which uses a cloud-based classroom for computing courses, was nominated in the Education Tech Award category.

* Mobile Enerlytics, whose technology could extend the life of smartphone batteries by helping application developers identify code that drains batteries quickly, was nominated in the Tech Innovation of the Year category. A video about Mobile Enerlytics is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNyMD8nFnoc.

* Purdue University College of Pharmacy Center for Medication Safety Advancement, was nominated in the Education Tech Award category.

* Scale Computing, which integrates servers, virtualization and storage into a highly scalable platform, was nominated in the Tech Innovation of the Year category.

* SensorHound, whose technology could reduce the operational cost and increase the reliability and security of the software that drives sensors, was nominated in the Tech Innovation of the Year category. A video about SensorHound is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HivLOiCJ7JE.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship and strong business support system. For more information about investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit PurdueFoundry.com

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

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