COLUMBIA, MO.— Nanova Biomaterials Inc., a company that grew out of research conducted at the University of Missouri, is manufacturing its first product from a plant in Columbia. The company began manufacturing a fluoride dental varnish called StarBright about a month ago after the product received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at its $1.5 million plant in Columbia.
Hao Li, Nanova co-founder of the company and Missouri associate engineering professor, said the company hopes to have the dental varnish on the market in December.
"Getting FDA clearance is very time-consuming, so we are pretty proud" we got "everything done in a year," Li said. "That's pretty fast, I think."
Nanova was in founded in 2007 and Nanova Biomaterials was created in 2013. It uses nanotechnology to produce particles with new properties. For example, the dental varnish contains more fluoride than other products on the market, The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1u0Q4rd ).
The company currently employs 13 people other than two university researchers who are company founders. It hopes to double its workforce by 2016 and create up to 50 jobs in the next five years.
Nanova also is working on a filling material for dental cavities that Li expects will receive FDA approval by next summer or fall.
The company has received $50,000 through the Development Tax Credit Program and it has been approved $11,500 through the Missouri Works Training Program. Nanova also has been authorized to receive $564,000 in benefits through the Missouri Quality Jobs program but it has not yet received those benefits.
Li, a native of China, has attracted investors from that country. The Chinese venture capital firm SummitView Capital has announced plans to invest $7 million in the company and the Chinese government also approved an $8 million loan package that Nanova could use to finance its growth, Li said.