A biotech startup focused on low-cost treatments for infectious diseases and cancer patients and a marketing strategy firm have joined the community of early-stage companies at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia. Lenima Field Diagnostics LLC has established a lab and Persona Partners has taken office space in the Port business incubator facility at 3624 Market Street.
Lenima Field Diagnostics LLC is developing a simple, portable, and low-cost test for diagnosing infectious diseases, such as Clostridium dificile, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
Developed in laboratories at Drexel University, Lenima’s research is based on a revolutionary sensor that detects molecules by the change in electrical charge that they cause when they bind to a thin polycrystalline surface. The Piezoelectric Plate Sensor (PEPS) can detect genetic material, such as DNA or RNA, that usually requires isolation and chemical amplification to be measured, allowing genetic tests to be carried out quickly and easily, in and outside the lab.
“Establishing space at the Science Center was a natural progression for us,” says Dr. Wan Shih, Founder of Lenima Field Diagnostics. “We had been doing research related to PEPS at our Drexel University Laboratory for over 10 years. Now that we’ve been awarded Phase 1 STTR funding, it’s time to take the work we’re doing – and the company to the next level and we’re confident the Science Center is the place to make that happen.”
Launching a start-up company is just the latest foray into the world of entrepreneurship for Dr. Shih, who is a prior winner of a Science Center QED Proof-of-Concept award for an unrelated project that also utilized piezoelectric technology.
Persona Partners helps its clients craft a marketing strategy that symbolizes their values and ideals. The company’s focus is on comprehensive research, analysis and strategic consulting. By applying academic theory with real-world application, Persona Partners helps to establish a relationship commitment to their clients’ brands. Persona Partners’ area of expertise includes brand identity audit and monitoring, consumer identity profile, public figures and co-brand management, identity loyalty brand framework and identity crisis management.
About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go tohttp://www.sciencecenter.org.