Making a Big Impact on Modern Medicine

Two professors at the South Dakota School of Mines are behind the technology for the start-up company “Nanofiber Separations,” and the research they are conducting at the school could ultimately have a big impact on modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Todd Menkhaus and Dr. Hao Fong are behind this technology, using tiny nano fibers that provide a highly efficient filtration mechanism.

This technology replaces all processing steps with a single step that can purify a material all at once, ultimately helping to reduce costs and waste.

The company recently won the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition and has received nearly $710,000 to help commercialize and produce nano fiber filters for lower cost pharmaceutical purification’s.

“Because we can offer a much lower cost of production opportunity for a company making the pharmaceutical product, the goal would be that those savings that the company creates by manufacturing it with our product, would be passed on to the consumer, you would end up with a low cost pharmaceutical that you would have to pay for,” said Dr. Todd Menkhaus, an Associate Professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering at the School of Mines.

This technology can also be used for water and air purification, greatly reducing the cost and waste as well.

Nanofiber Separations, LLC wins 1st Place in 2014 Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition

PRESS RELEASE

Nanofiber Separations LLC CEO Craig Arnold is awarded $20,000 by Governor Daugaard and David Owen, President of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce.

Nanofiber Separations, LLC wins 1st Place in 2014 Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition

Sioux Falls, SD – As host of the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards Program, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry President David Owen announced the top winner of the 2014 business competitions during the GOED Conference banquet in Sioux Falls.

After a preliminary judging process that reduced the field of applicants to 10 qualifying business, the competition concluded with day-long judging activities Tuesday, April 15 in Sioux Falls.  The awards were presented as part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) banquet with Governor Dennis Daugaard presenting the top prizes in the competition.

The first place $20,000 winner was Nanofiber Separations, Craig Arnold and Dr. Todd Menkhaus, Rapid City

Dr. Todd J. Menkhaus and Dr. Hao Fong co-founded Nanofiber Separations on the South Dakota School of Mines Campus in 2011.  Dr. Menkhaus leads the development of separations analysis and characterization. Dr. Hao is a world expert in nanofiber electrospinning and leads the company’s nanofibers research and production.  Craig Arnold joined the company as CEO in 2014.  Mr. Arnold leads the company’s business strategy and commercialization efforts.

Nanofiber Separations produces cutting-edge separation media composed of functionalized nanofibers capable of both size-based as well as adsorptive separation mechanisms.   The highly advanced nanofibers provide the opportunity to greatly enhance process efficiencies and economics in the biopharmaceutical, water treatment, desalination, blood products, and air purification industries.

For more information please contact Craig Arnold- CEO: craig@nanofiberseparations.com

Governor’s Giant Vision Business and Student Competition Winners Announced

Sioux Falls, SD – As host of the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards Program, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry President David Owen announced the top winner of the 2014 business and student business competitions during the GOED Conference banquet in Sioux Falls.
After a preliminary judging process that reduced the field of applicants to 10 qualifying business and 13 qualifying student entries, the competition concluded with day-long judging activities Tuesday, April 15 at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls.  The awards were presented as part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) banquet with Governor Dennis Daugaard presenting the top prizes in both competitions.  The following were selected as the 2014 Governor’s Giant Vision winners.  Each includes the competitor’s “elevator pitch” that explains their business.

BUSINESS COMPETITION: 
The first place $20,000 winner was Nanofiber Separations, Craig Arnold and Dr. Todd Menkhaus, Rapid City 
Dr. Todd J. Menkhaus and Dr. Hao Fong co-founded Nanofiber Separations on the South Dakota School of Mines Campus in 2011.  Dr. Menkhaus leads separations analysis and characterization developments. Dr. Hao is a world expert in nanofiber electrospinning.  Craig Arnold joined the company as CEO in 2014.  Mr. Arnold leads the company’s commercialization efforts. read more

Tech companies dominate Giant Vision competition

Tech companies took top honors in the annual Governor’s Giant Vision competition.

The first-place $20,000 winner was Nanofiber Separations, the creation of Craig Arnold and Dr. Todd Menkhaus of Rapid City.

Nanofiber Separations produces cutting-edge separation media composed of functionalized nanofibers.

The nanofibers provide the opportunity to enhance process efficiencies and read more

Rapid City, South Dakota (PRWEB) April 10, 2014

Nanofiber Separations, LLC Receives a $710,000 National Science Foundation SBIR Phase II Award to Develop Nanofiber Filters for Lower Cost Production of Pharmaceuticals

Nanofiber Separations, LLC announced today that it has been awarded a $709,849.00 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the efficient and scalable production of nanofiber filters for lower cost pharmaceutical purifications.

Nanofiber Separations, LLC announced today that it has been awarded a $709,849.00 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the efficient and scalable production of nanofiber filters for lower cost pharmaceutical purifications.

According to Dr. Todd Menkhaus, the company’s Co-founder and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, “In recent years, biopharmaceutical therapeutics have become major contributors in the fights against life threatening and debilitating disorders. Prior to 1997, only 6% of the approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for new therapies were for biopharmaceuticals, which are more efficacious and have fewer side effects than traditional chemo-pharmaceuticals. Today, biopharmaceutical products account for over one-third of all new approvals and over 30% of total pharmaceutical sales, but are extremely expensive to produce, which translates into higher costs for the patient.”

Menkhaus said that “It is the goal of Nanofiber Separations, LLC to commercialize an innovative type of bioseparation media utilizing electrospun nanofibers for highly efficient purification of the high-value biopharmaceutical products”. Dr. Menkhaus also said that “compared to competitive products, these nanofiber filters will provide shorter processing times, reduce the amount of waste generated, and decrease the volume of separation media required, all leading to much lower processing costs, smaller operating footprints and contribute to enabling individualized medicine.”

Dr. Hao Fong, Co-Founder, Professor of Chemistry at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and one of the pioneers and leading scientists nationwide on electrospun nanofibers, stated that “commercially available separation filters are generally composed of coarse microfibers with diameters of 5-15 microns. This relatively large diameter reduces the specific surface area (surface area to volume ratio) within a membrane bed, and significantly limits the potential binding capacity of the module. Thus, by using smaller, nanometer diameter fibers (“nanofibers”, with diameters ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers), the available surface area within a given bed volume for potential binding will be greatly increased by as much as two orders of magnitude. As such, the purification process will require much less of the filter material.”

D. Craig Arnold, CEO of Nanofiber Separations, stated, “The Phase II project will further develop and evaluate optimal production methods for a suite of nanofiber-based adsorption media to be implemented for bioseparations within the biopharmaceutical industry.” Mr. Arnold continued, “Nanofiber Separations has identified additional applications for this innovative technology and we are currently pursuing additional non-dilutive funding sources that will support multiple development pathways and markets.”

After leveraging prior work completed during a $180,000 NSF SBIR Phase I project, the Phase II endeavor officially started March 1, 2014. The SBIR Program reserves a portion of a Federal agency’s research budget for award to small businesses through a three-phase process in which strong emphasis is placed on the ultimate pursuit of commercial applications from SBIR results. The program provides increased opportunities for small businesses to participate in R&D, increase employment, and improve U.S. competitiveness.

The Nanofiber Separations project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number: IIP-1329377. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Nanofiber Separations, LLC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

About Nanofiber Separations, LLC

Nanofiber Separations, LLC produces cutting-edge separation media composed of functionalized nanofibers. The product is manufactured from a randomly overlaid mat of electrospun nanofibers, which provide a unique separation medium capable of both size-based as well as adsorptive separation mechanisms. The highly advanced and proprietary formulation provides the opportunity to greatly enhance process efficiencies and economics in the biopharmaceutical, water treatment, desalination, blood products, and air purification industries. Nanofiber Separations is located on the Internet at http://www.nanopareil.com and is headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota.

For further information regarding this press release or Nanofiber Separations, please contact:

D. Craig Arnold, CEO

(712) 546-8601
craig(at)nanofiberseparations(dot)com

2014 Governor’s Giant Vision winners announced

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – As host of the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards Program, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry President David Owen announced the top winner of the 2014 business and student business competitions during the Governor’s Office of Economic Development conference banquet in Sioux Falls, S.D. read more

Two Professors at SDSM&T Making Big Impact on Modern Medicine

Two professors at the South Dakota School of Mines are behind the technology for the start-up company “Nanofiber Separations,” and the research they are conducting at the school could ultimately have a big impact on modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. read more