Capture Collective is in position to lead development of rapid radiation testing.

A Columbus startup is working on technology everyone hopes they’ll never have to use—but that someday may save lives. Capture Collective is innovating in the field of biodosimetry, creating tests to ascertain radiation exposure on-site, almost instantly. 

Capture was born from the work of Naduparambil Jacob, an Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center researcher, says John D’Orazio, co-founder of Ikove Capital. 

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The Columbus-based venture fund, which acts as a startup foundry, is translating Jacob’s research into solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security in response to urgent requests for rapid, accurate, FDA-cleared emergency preparedness tests in the field and hospitals.

In an emergency such as a nuclear accident or attack, there aren’t effective ways to quickly assess whether someone has been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. “These symptoms onset within an hour, and so time is of the essence,” D’Orazio says. Existing tests require multiple panels—27 or more—to produce an accurate diagnosis. 

Jacob’s laboratory has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and NASA. Down the line, his work could generate more accurate and rapid testing products in oncology treatment settings, D’Orazio says. 

Columbus-based Ikove spent a year validating assumptions about the potential for Capture and helped raise a $1.5 million seed round for the company. D’Orazio says though it’s very early and there are hurdles to be overcome, including FDA approval within the next two to three years, there’s potential for a multibillion-dollar market in the United States and even more expansive opportunities globally. 

“But to me, the impact is thinking about human beings. The more we can get these tests into the hands of first responders, the more we can save their lives,” D’Orazio says.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer for Columbus CEO.