Cancer Spinoff Company Bags Early Attention in Duke Start-Up Challenge

A company founded in June 2006 by Assistant Biomedical Engineering (BME) Professor Adam Wax and (BME) Research Scientist William Brown has won the “Most Intriguing Idea” award in the healthcare category of the Phase 1 competition of the Duke Start-Up Challenge. The company is called Oncoscope and its goal is to build an accurate, quick and cost effective optical biopsy system for detecting pre-cancerous cells in epitheal tissues. The initial target is the esophagus.

The Oncoscope team members are BME Ph.D. student John Pyhtila, MEMP student Sylvain Hanssen and two Fuqua MBA students. The three-phase Duke Start-Up Challenge encourages students to plan and launch their own businesses, receiving feedback from experienced professionals and the chance to win seed capital. In all, 48 Pratt undergraduate and graduate students are involved in Duke Startup Challenge teams. The competition ends in April 2007.