New Iridium, a company developing commercialized photocatalysis technologies to accelerate drug development and manufacturing, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $256,000 to conduct research and development work on facilitating timely availability of Remdesivir, a potential life-saving drug in the global fight against COVID-19.

This grant funds the development of an optimized manufacturing process for Remdesivir that utilizes photocatalysis, a powerful new chemical technology driven by light rather than heat. The project will explore new production methods using patent-pending organic photocatalysts to develop a superior synthesis route for Remdesivir that requires fewer process steps and provides a safer production environment. If successful, the new process will result in shortened production times and higher yields, providing greater supply to the market more quickly than current manufacturing protocols.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“COVID-19 is taking an unprecedented toll in both human life and economic impact,” said Chern-Hooi Lim, Ph.D., founder and CEO of New Iridium. “Our photocatalysis platform has the potential to speed production and increase product yields to expand availability of Remdesivir to people around the world suffering from COVID-19.”

About New Iridium

Bringing a new drug to market can cost billions of dollars and take 10 years or more. Boulder, Colo.-based New Iridium has commercialized a photocatalysis platform which delivers unprecedented reductions in both manufacturing costs and time to market. The patent-pending technology reacts to light instead of heat, improving efficiencies in both pharmaceutical development and manufacturing processes. Developed in cooperation with both the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University, and licensed exclusively by New Iridium, this novel approach is applicable to a wide range of pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing applications. For more information, visit

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.