Columbia-based Nanova, Inc., closed on investments of $10 million in 2016, bringing total investments in the startup to $19 million since its founding in 2007.
Founded by a group of four researchers, two of whom are faculty members of the University of Missouri, Nanova is an early stage high-tech company. Nanova employs various advanced technologies, such as nanotechnology and low-temperature plasma technology, in developing medical/dental devices, environmental products and pharmaceutical therapies.
Nanova currently has dental, surgical, and orthopedic consumable products cleared by FDA for clinical use. These products include a dental fluoride varnish (Starbright, www.nanovabio.com), a universal dental composite (NovaPro Fill), a flowable dental composite (NovaPro Flow), a whitening gel (www.hydrapearlwhitening.com), a surgical vascular clip (Vas-Q-ClipTM, www.vasqclip.com), and a bioresorbable bone screw.
In Columbia, Nanova and its subsidiaries currently employ more than 42 full-time employees and 14 interns, with plans to add 20 or more full-time positions in 2017.
“We have done a great job in developing innovative products. Now we are working aggressively to put the quality products made here in Columbia in customer’s hands,” said Hao Li, co-founder and CEO of Nanova. “We are grateful for all our investors and the trust that has been placed in us, and we feel obligated to pay back the society with great products.”
Nanova products provide doctors and dentists with desirable improvements and wider choices over the existing products. Compared to other dental varnish products on the market, StarBright varnish offers fast fluoride release with many flavors, such as caramel, bubble gum and mint. Nanova has also been pioneering in applying the nanofiber technology developed at the University of Missouri to produce dental composites with enhanced strength, improved wear resistance and excellent aesthetic appeal. Both of Nanova’s composites, NovaPro Fill and NovaPro Flow, have been recognized with “Editor’s Choice” award by Dental Advisors. Nanova’s whitening gel, Hydra Pearl Teeth Whitening System, has also received positive feedbacks from dental professionals. This whitening gel is formulated to whiten teeth fast, effectively and with minimal sensitivity. Furthermore, Nanova expects to launch its novel vascular clip, Vas-Q-ClipTM, and bioresorbable bone screws (interference screw and suture anchors) in 2017. The patent-pending design of the surgical Vas-Q-Clip™ aims to improve patient safety by decreasing “slipping” of the clip when closed on vessels and tissues. Nanova’s bone screw is another great example of the nanotechnology being utilized in orthopedics to provide improved mechanical performance.
In addition to its effort on medical and dental devices, Nanova is actively pursuing drug discovery based on new theories and concepts. As an example, Nanova, through its subsidiary, Ivogen, Inc., is currently working with researchers at University of Missouri and University Michigan to develop a novel therapeutic approach to combat pathogenic bacteria by “disarming” bacteria, making them less harmful and allowing the body’s immune system to clear them out of the body. The drugs developed through this approach can potentially overcome multi-antibiotic resistant “superbugs” without negatively affecting the good bacteria in our bodies. Furthermore, unlike conventional antibiotics, these drugs do not directly kill bacteria or block their proliferation, thus will have less selective pressure for generating drug resistance or cross resistance with current antibiotics. (www.ivogen.com)