A startup called Nano RED has won the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce’s Pressure Chamber contest, which gives early-stage companies a chance to pitch to a live audience.

Nano RED is developing precision medicine platforms for the treatment of respiratory viral illnesses, including COVID-19, as well as drug delivery for cancer immunotherapy. The company beat out four other finalists, two of which also operate in the health care space.

The business got its start in 2015 when a graduate student and postdoctoral fellows from UW-Milwaukee, the Blood Research Institute and the Medical College of Wisconsin came together in hopes of improving how cancer is treated. The company pivoted to add a focus on treating COVID-19 after co-founder Dr. Johnathan Ebben saw the impact of the virus first-hand while working in the intensive care unit.

Nano RED has since received a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research award from the National Science Foundation for this work.

As winners of the contest, co-founders Gang Xin, Karthika Divakaran and Ebben have earned a spot in an upcoming meeting with Silicon Valley investors this fall organized by the chamber. According to the chamber, Pressure Chamber participants have gone on to collectively raise more than $500 million from investors.

Yesterday’s pitch contest was held as part of Forward Festival, an annual celebration of technology and entrepreneurship held in the Madison area.

See more on Nano RED here: http://www.nanoredbiotech.com/