DesiCorp is a biotechnology company that is focused on developing a new method to extend the shelf-life of blood by drying it to powder. This could help save lives in disaster, rural or battlefield areas, where blood for transfusions is more difficult to store when there is no refrigeration.
"After receiving support from the (University of Louisville Innovation Corps. site) program to develop the technology we formed a company to explore commercialization of these products," said Dr. Jonathan Kopechek, an assistant professor of bioengineering at UofL and co-founder of DesiCorp. "The I-Corps program provided our team with training and resources to help us get our start-up company off the ground."
Through the National Science Foundation-backed I-Corps program, DesiCorp participated in LaunchIt, an intensive 10-week course that provided the team with valuable advice and guidance.
In the program, they performed more than 50 customer discovery interviews, including conversations with potential stakeholders in hospitals, aid organizations, and the military. Those interviews provided the team with valuable insight into the pain points of potential customers, and the markets where these products are most needed.
The DesiCorp technology works by loading a sugar into red blood cells, which enables them to be stored as a dried powder for long periods of time at ambient temperatures and rapidly rehydrated when needed.
Current methods of blood storage require refrigeration or freezing with limited shelf-life or long processing times prior to transfusion. The DesiCorp product would enable blood transfusions in new locations where refrigeration or freezing is not available, such as remote medical centers or far-forward settings in the military.
Currently, the company is performing more customer discovery, while also exploring licensing options and seeking to raise capital to expand the business.