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Wisconsin Roundup: Deltanoid, Cellectar, Startup Grind, ZBB, & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Here’s a quick rundown of recent news from Wisconsin’s technology and innovation community:

—Madison-based Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals announced top-line data from a Phase 2b clinical trial of its vitamin D-based drug, DP001, as a treatment for a hormonal imbalance that can occur in patients with chronic kidney disease. In a 12-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 62 kidney disease patients who were undergoing hemodialysis, Deltanoid’s drug reduced levels of parathyroid hormone, which can become abnormally elevated in such patients, by 46 percent, while the hormone increased 31 percent in those who received the placebo. The full results will be shared at the American Society of Nephrology meeting in November in Philadelphia. Deltanoid CEO Hector DeLuca is a leading vitamin D researcher who has helped develop eight drugs that have achieved more than $10 billion in global sales, the company says.

—Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, and Cellectar Biosciences (NASDAQ: CLRB) reported in the journal Plos One that molecular agents from Madison-based Cellectar demonstrated some early success in detecting and potentially treating colorectal cancer. In animal tests, Cellectar’s phospholipid ether technology successfully delivered a fluorescent imaging agent to intestinal tumors, distinguished between malignant and healthy tissues, and highlighted lymph nodes. This could help surgeons more accurately cut out tumors. The authors also reviewed Phase I clinical trial data that showed that Cellectar technology was able to deliver a radiotherapeutic agent to the site of colon cancer metastases in a human patient.

—Madison-based Isomark announced it has been awarded a $1.7 million NIH grant to help it develop Canary, its breath analyzer intended to detect deadly infections in patients. The money will help Isomark hire two employees, a biomedical engineer and a quality assurance manager.

—Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy (NYSE MKT: ZBB) said it has regained compliance with New York Stock Exchange listing requirements, a year after the exchange warned the advanced energy storage startup that it could be delisted if it didn’t improve its financial position. ZBB posted a net loss of $8.8 million in fiscal year 2014, but that was smaller than the $11.9 million net loss the previous year. The company also received a recent capital boost by raising $13.5 million in a public stock offering.

—WiSys Technology Foundation, the nonprofit tech transfer group that supports University of Wisconsin System campuses, has hired a former U.K. tech transfer official as its new associate director. Jennifer Cook, a U.S. native, previously managed life sciences intellectual property for the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, according to a press release.

—Madison tech advocates have started a local chapter of Startup Grind, a global networking program sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs. The monthly events feature “fireside chat” interviews with local entrepreneurs. The first one, scheduled for Nov. 5, will feature MobCraft Beer co-founder and CEO Henry Schwartz. The launch of Startup Grind Madison follows the recent arrival of a similar program in Milwaukee, the Kauffman Foundation-backed 1 Million Cups.