Hi- my name is Derek Athy. I am a current ESTEEM student who is also working part-time as a consultant for NanDio, Inc. NanDio took first place in the Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville, as well as in the McCloskey Business Plan Competition at the University of Notre Dame in 2014. NanDio is currently run by two University of Notre Dame alumni- President Ben Miller (MBA ’14), who is based here in South Bend at Innovation Park, and CEO Kevin Connors (BSEE ’83). Patrick Rice (ESTEEM ’14, BA ’13) also worked with the NanDio R&D team through the ESTEEM program in 2014, participating in the aforementioned business plan competitions and completing his thesis on NanDio’s platform technology.
NanDio, Inc. is a cancer screening company that is commercializing novel technology to bring accurate and cost-effective molecular diagnostics to the point of care by enabling revolutionary cancer detection and treatment planning tests. NanDio is currently focused on addressing pancreatic cancer, a cancer that is difficult to detect in early stages, has no overly effective therapies to treat the disease, and has very poor survival outcomes.
Modern sequencing and detection technologies are often labor intensive, expensive, and typically last hours or days; NanDio’s novel detection process is able to discover microRNA (miRNA) sequences on a microfluidic chip quickly and accurately and at a much lower cost than traditional methods. This technology platform can be applied to identify miRNAs from a pancreatic cancer patient’s tumor biopsy that have prognostic significance, to then guide treatment decisions for pancreatic cancer patients, resulting in more effective therapies and higher survival rates.
Currently, NanDio is performing validation interviews with physician groups and oncology teams around the country, while further developing the technology’s capabilities. Additionally, the company management is currently raising a Seed round of funding and has recently been exploring opportunities with local funding groups.