From its home in the University at Buffalo Technology Incubator, Ferric Contrast is producing a novel family of iron-based MRI contrast agents. Its mission is to provide improved images for faster and more accurate diagnosis, and to create a contrast for people with medical conditions that prevent them from accessing this critical technology.
Bradford La Salle, President and Co-founder of Ferric Contrast, and his team needed money to supplement the $225,000 in funding it had received from the National Science Foundation and improve its chances of winning a larger NSF award.
Ferric Contrast applied for FuzeHub’s 2017 Commercialization Competition and won a $50,000 prize. It used $8,000 of the money to purchase a rotary evaporator, a key piece of equipment in any chemistry lab. It had been using the one in the University at Buffalo Instrument Center but having its own enabled it to work faster, more efficiently and more accurately. With the equipment and award money, Ferric Contrast was able to increase its research and build a more robust data set to show experts.
The FuzeHub award put Ferric Contrast on the path to receiving a $750,000 NSF award earlier this year. The company has hired a second chemist and expects to add a third, with a different skillset, by early next year. It also is investing in additional equipment, including a nuclear magnetic resonance machine, which will enable it to test the magnetic properties of its agents.