Research Foundation News

August 25, 2021

OCA Ventures completes Amplified Sciences' $1.8M seed round

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Amplified Sciences, a startup life science diagnostic company, announced that its $1.8 million seed round of funding has been completed by Chicago-based OCA Ventures. Amplified Sciences is developing diagnostics to detect debilitating diseases earlier than traditional methods do.

Diana Caldwell, CEO and president of Amplified Sciences, said the funding will enable validation of the company’s lead assay to detect pancreatic cancer and bring it closer to commercial launch. The funding also allows the company to accelerate the hiring of key talent, including Dan Sheik, as director of research and technology, and further advance the development of the company's proprietary technology platform.

Other investors in this round include Purdue Ventures, Elevate Ventures, Indiana University Ventures, IU Angel Network, Golden Seeds, Houston Angel Network, Chemical Angel Network and Gravity Ventures.

"I'm especially thrilled that OCA Ventures has closed the round given their history of investing in diagnostic companies," Caldwell said. "OCA is a well-known venture capital firm, and we are pleased that they have appreciated the potential of our technology and want to join our journey."

Bob Saunders, general partner at OCA Ventures, chairs its health care investing activity.

"Amplified Sciences appeared on our radar by winning the MedCity News diagnostics track pitch competition in 2020. After substantial diligence, we determined that the company’s novel technology was very promising and fit our investment theme in precision diagnostics,” Saunders said.

"Of the 95-plus companies in our portfolio, 23 are in the health care sector. We believe Amplified Sciences complements our portfolio as it strives to detect pancreatic cancer sooner and help patients begin treatments earlier."

Caldwell said the $1.8 million seed round compares strongly to investments earned by other Indiana companies.

"The national reach of investors and size of this seed round is significant as highlighted in the 2020 Indiana Life Sciences Capital Report published by BioCrossroads. The report conveyed that only 25 companies in the state raised over $1 million last year," Caldwell said.

Amplified Sciences is based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. Its diagnostic technology was developed at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

About Amplified Sciences

Amplified Sciences is a startup life science diagnostics company focused on detecting and preempting the risks of debilitating diseases, thus providing health providers the ability to treat patients earlier with better outcomes. The company has operations in West Lafayette, Indiana, leverages technology licensed from Purdue University, and has developed a platform that scales to point of care. To learn more about Amplified Sciences, visit

About OCA Ventures

OCA Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on equity investments in companies with dramatic growth potential in highly scalable businesses. Founded in 1999, the firm has 95-plus portfolio companies and has offices in Chicago and Palo Alto, California. To learn more about OCA, visit online.

Writer: Steve Martin,

Sources: Diana Caldwell,

Bob Saunders,

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