Students plan to market breath test for lung cancer


    LOUISVILLE, Ky.—A breath test for lung cancer being developed at the University of Louisville could save more than 130,000 lives and $2 billion in medical costs a year, say four UofL business students who want to bring the test to market.

    Entrepreneurship MBA students Justus Zils, Bayard Donaldson, Nick Muscato and J.D. Edington have formed a company, VOC Diagnostics, to market the test. They will unveil their venture at the Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge Feb. 15-16 at the Marriott Downtown Louisville.

    The UofL team is one of 12 business school teams pitching ideas for start-up ventures at the regional contest sponsored by UofL’s business school.

    A Johns Hopkins University team will present their plan for EchoSure, a technology designed to help surgeons detect blood flow loss in transplant patients, while a University of California Los Angeles team will promote Neural Analytics, a product that measures pressure inside the skull to help diagnose brain injuries.

    The first-place team in the contest will claim $15,000, a bid to the national 2013 Venture Labs Investment Competition and the “Launch in Louisville” package for start-up businesses, a collection of more than $100,000 in cash and services.

    Teams finishing second, third and fourth will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $1,500. Lower-finishing teams will vie in a “fast pitch” contest requiring them to sell their business idea to judges in less than a minute—an event with first and second prizes of $1,500 and $1,000.

    UofL’s team plans to market VitaLung, a device that uses biomarkers to detect volatile organic compounds in a patient’s breath. The test could replace CT scans as the best way to screen high-risk patients for lung cancer, the students said.

    For more information, see or call Van Clouse at 502-724-7320.