CONTACT: GEORGE McCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
Biomedical research 'spin-off' company to affiliate with UI Technology
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The state Board of Regents has approved a lease that
will enable Quorum Sciences, Inc. of Iowa City to become a corporate affiliate
of the University of Iowa (UI) Technology Innovation Center (TIC) on the
Oakdale Research Campus in Coralville.
The lease of laboratory and office space in the UI Multi-Tenant Facility
at Oakdale is effective Oct. 1.
Quorum Sciences, Inc. is a "spin-off" from research in the
laboratory of E. Peter Greenberg, professor of microbiology in the UI College
of Medicine. Quorum Sciences was established in April 1998 to develop technology
in the area of chemical signaling in bacteria. Quorum's mission is to utilize
bacterial cell signaling pathways as a basis for the development of new
classes of antibacterial therapeutics and industrial products.
Quorum's founders are Stephen Turner of Gaithersburg, Md., a long-time
biotechnology entrepreneur; and Greenberg of Iowa City.
Turner, who received a bachelor's degree from Stanford, is founder and
chairman of numerous life science companies, including Bethesda Research
Laboratories, OncorMed, Oncor, Inc., and Codon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Greenberg received a bachelor's degree from Western Washington University,
a master's from the UI, and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts.
He joined the UI faculty in 1988. Greenberg is an acknowledged leader in
the field of bacterial autoinduction. His discoveries represent the core
technology that Quorum has licensed from the UI Research Foundation.
"We will focus initially on development of novel anti-microbial
compounds to treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa which cause lung damage in patients
with cystic fibrosis and cause serious infections in other compromised
people," said Greenberg.
Turner said the company's initial funding is being provided by private
investors and by contractual agreements with pharmaceutical companies.
"There is an urgent need for advanced technology that will provide
new ways to treat bacterial disease, especially since new strains of bacteria
are resistant to our antibiotic regimens," said Turner. "Dr.
Greenberg's technology of identifying and blocking bacterial cell signaling
is revolutionary in its promise, and we believe will meet this need. Quorum
is proud to be a member of the growing Iowa biotechnology community,"
One of the UI's technology transfer programs, the TIC was established
in 1984 to nurture new technology-based business ventures and to encourage
those companies to establish relationships with the UI.
With the addition of Quorum Sciences, Inc., the TIC will have 18 tenant
companies. Thirteen TIC "graduate" firms remain in business after
leaving the incubator.
For additional information, contact Ute Muh, laboratory director Quorum
Sciences, Inc. (319) 335-4450 or Tom Bauer, associate director of the TIC
at (319) 335-4067.