Concordia University Wisconsin launches faculty-led diagnostic company

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Dr. Dean Arneson [Left] and Dr. Joe McGraw [Right]
Dr. Dean Arneson [Left] and Dr. Joe McGraw [Right]

Concordia University Wisconsin has signed a license agreement with a faculty-led diagnostic firm, Microlitics, LCC, for its core technology that holds promises for better and safer medication therapy management.

Microlitics’ proprietary diagnostic test enables personalization of drug treatments based on a patient’s phenotypic makeup. The technology was developed in Concordia’s School of Pharmacy research laboratories by Drs. Joe McGraw and Armin Gerhardt, co-founders of Microlitics. The two are seasoned experts in pharmaceutical product development.

The technology leverages advances in genomics and proteomics. This type of personalized medicine is the future of health care, say university leaders.

“This is a great occasion for these two School of Pharmacy faculty members to combine their knowledge and expertise with the entrepreneurial opportunity to create a business that will also improve patient health care,” Dr. Dean Arneson, dean of the School of Pharmacy.

Last fall, Microlitics won $25,000 in the first-ever southeast Wisconsin Healthcare Innovation Pitch event. The event was co-organized and sponsored by Bridges to Cures, CTSI (Clinical and Translational Science Institute), CUW and Medical College of Wisconsin.

Startup formation and innovation at Concordia is not limited to faculty. In Concordia’s Batterman School of Business-sponsored CU Launch event, which culminated in a Shark Tank-like pitch event on Dec. 8, five new companies were formed and received $10,000 in seed funds. These companies included Runway Ready Curls, LLC (real hair extensions), Hougard Klyver, LLC (tiny home/development consulting), MedSync-Rx, LLC (App for medication therapy management), BabyTones, LLC (a patentable device based on music therapy to sooth babies), and Fill’erUp, LLC (a customer loyalty program for gas stations).

“Concordia has a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem that connects our students, faculty and community,” says Dr. Daniel Sem, dean of the Batterman School of Business. “We’re proud to be the incubator for some of Wisconsin’s newest companies.”