• Rayser Holdings acquires J-TEC Associates
• Viewpoint Molecular Targeting closes $13M in financing
UIHC participating in new COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial
• BoA to provide 60,000 face masks to Iowa nonprofits
• Brucemore exceeds $5M campaign capital goal
• Corridor events, KCRG-TV9 headlines and First Alert Forecast
Rayser Holdings acquires J-TEC Associates
Cedar Rapids-based employee owned holding company Rayser Holdings announced Thursday it had acquired J-TEC Associates, Inc., also of Cedar Rapids, for an undisclosed amount.

“We are excited to add another company to the Rayser Holdings family," Michelle Jensen, president and CEO of Rayser Holdings, said in a release. "J-TEC Associates, Inc. has a long and stable history in Cedar Rapids and their industry. We were honored to be considered as an option as [J-TEC President] Gary Roling transitioned the company to its next stage of ownership."

J-TEC has been providing vortex flow meters and sensors for automotive, military, industrial, and mining applications since 1968. J-TEC produces flow meters for internal combustion engine air-intake and crankcase blow-by flow measurement, along with a specialized flow sensor used on military ground vehicles for accuracy of the large weapon systems.

The company is notable for developing and perfecting the detection of vortex shedding through ultrasonic sensing. Their first development efforts resulted in a technique for measuring ocean currents and an anemometer for the National Data Buoy Program to aid in weather forecasting. That unique and proprietary technology formed the basis of the company's principal products, leading it into various flow measurement markets.

“For the past couple years I have been working on finding a way to gently exit the business that I have nurtured now for over 30 years," Mr. Roling said. "The discovery of Rayser Holdings as an option that might accomplish just that is the best thing that has happened to me and the J-TEC employee team since I started working there in 1988. I’m excited to see the next chapter of J-TEC unfold."

Rayser Holdings was established in 2018 to diversify and enhance employee ownership. J-TEC Associates, Inc. joins CarePro Health Services, KELTEK, Inc., and Midwest Memorials as part of the Rayser portfolio.
Viewpoint Molecular Targeting closes $13M in financing
Coralville-based Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, Inc. (VMT) has closed the third and final tranche of its Series A financing for a total of approximately $13 million, the company announced this morning.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Viewpoint’s two lead programs, VMT01 and VMT- 𝛼-NET, into Phase 1 human clinical studies, further develop its proprietary VMT-𝛼-GEN isotope generator and fund general operating expenses.

“We are incredibly pleased to have achieved the closing of this pivotal milestone for the company, " said Dr. Frances Johnson, chief medical officer and acting CEO of Viewpoint. "This funding enables us to advance what we believe are cutting-edge radiopharmaceutical oncology therapeutics and complimentary diagnostic imaging agents, VMT01 and VMT-𝛼-NET, into the clinic in the near term. We are dedicated to addressing the unmet needs in the current cancer therapy landscape and potentially optimize patient care and look forward to further evaluating the potential of these two programs.”

Viewpoint plans to initiate its VMT01 and VMT-𝛼-NET programs into Phase 1 imaging studies in the first half of 2021, followed by Phase 1/2a therapy trials for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and neuroendocrine tumors at two leading academic institutions.

The company's 𝛼-particle radiotherapy technology originates from the University of Iowa in the laboratory of faculty member Michael K. Schultz, co-founder and chief science officer of Viewpoint.

Viewpoint currently operates out of the University of Iowa BioVentures Center, a uniquely designed facility to support biotechnology start-up companies.
UIHC participating in new COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial
University of Iowa Health Care announced this morning it would be participating in a large, Phase 3 clinical trial for a new COVID-19 vaccine made by Novavax, Inc.

The multi-site clinical trial, which aims to enroll 30,000 participants, will further validate the safety, tolerability, immunogenicity, and efficacy of the vaccine against COVID-19. The UI site started vaccinations on Jan. 4 and plans to enroll 250 participants.

Two vaccines - made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna - have already been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and are being used across the country. However, additional vaccines continue to be tested in Phase 3 clinical trials.

“Different types of vaccines are helpful because certain people might respond better to one type of vaccine than another,” said Dr. Patricia Winokur, executive dean of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and principal investigator for the UI trial site for the Novavax vaccine, in a release.

Dr. Winokur also led the UI site for the clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Novavax uses a more traditional vaccine technology than the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which use mRNA to generate an immune response. The Novavax vaccine creates an immune response by injecting a piece of the outer coat of the SARS-CoV-2 virus - the spike protein - along with a compound that stimulates the immune system. Because the vaccine does not contain the whole virus, it cannot cause COVID-19. This so-called subunit vaccine is the same technology that has been used previously for seasonal flu shots.
I think this is going be a really important trial because this vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, so if it’s safe and effective, this is going to be a much more appropriate vaccine for small practices and for other countries that don't have the same infrastructure that the U.S. has,” Dr. Winokur said.

The study is open to men and nonpregnant women over age 18. However, the researchers particularly want to recruit people over age 65; those who have medical conditions, like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, that put them at high risk for severe disease; underrepresented populations; and people with jobs that put them at increased risk for coming into contact with the virus, which might include younger essential workers.
Participants will receive two intramuscular doses of vaccine 21 days apart. Two thirds of participants will get the active vaccine and one third will get a placebo injection. Over 8-10 visits, the participants will be evaluated to learn about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines as well as any side effects that might occur.
All participants in the Novavax study will be followed for up to two years to see if they develop symptoms of COVID. The study will compare rates of COVID infection between people getting active vaccine and those getting placebo.
For more information, visit (319) 356-4848, or email
BoA to provide 60,000 face masks to Iowa nonprofits
Bank of America announced Wednesday, it would partner with four Iowa nonprofits, including Cedar Rapids-based United Way of East Central Iowa, to provide 60,000 face masks to ensure communities impacted by the pandemic have adequate resources.

The initiative, part of Bank of America’s $1 billion four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, is aimed at providing resources to vulnerable and underserved communities hardest hit by the coronavirus. Iowa was identified as one state "experiencing a significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases this winter."

“The health and safety of Iowa communities has always remained a top priority for Bank of America,” said Heidi Parkhurst, Iowa market president for Bank of America. “As we work with local partners to identify and distribute PPE masks to various organizations who are leading efforts in minimizing the humanitarian and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, it is just one way we are helping to provide Iowans with critical resources during this time of need."
Bank of America has invested more than $100 million in local communities this year to address challenges brought on by the coronavirus. Working with local partners to provide resources to vulnerable populations, it has already donated 15 million masks and 58,000 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer to underserved communities, including communities of color, across the country.
Brucemore exceeds $5M capital campaign goal
Brucemore announced this week it has exceeded the $5 million Pride and Preservation campaign goal, raising $5.19 million.

The capital campaign was launched in 2018 to allow investment in three primary areas: preserving the historic structures and landscape; upgrading sitewide infrastructure to support on-site events; and enhancing the security to protect the site and its collections. This was the organization’s first capital campaign since its founding in 1981 when the site was donated by the estate’s last owner, Margaret Douglas Hall.
“We are grateful to every individual and organization who invested in us throughout the campaign,” said Executive Director David Janssen in a release. “We would not have been able to initiate the critical projects and preservation work we’ve begun over the last few years without this support.”
Over 700 individuals, corporations, foundations, state entities, and other organizations from across the country donated to support the non-profit’s efforts. A surge of donations in the aftermath of the August derecho pushed the campaign past its goal.

“After seeing the extensive damage across the estate, many donors reached out and offered additional support,” Mr. Janssen said. “We designated these post-derecho gifts to landscape recovery efforts, which will be a major focus for Brucemore over the next few years.”
Major projects are already underway using campaign funds. Since 2017, work has occurred to preserve the windows and doors on three elevations of the mansion; to update the electrical infrastructure and improve security lighting across the property; and to upgrade the fencing around the perimeter.

In the coming years, Brucemore will complete restoration on the final façade of the mansion and update the security systems throughout the estate, in addition to addressing the landscape restoration.
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Short Term Event Planner

Jan. 12
How to Pivot to Sell in the New Economy, by National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), 11 a.m., online. Mary Lombardo, of NAWBO Chicago, will discuss how to pivot your sales strategy to find new ways to bring in business and how to keep your sales team motivated and focused. Free. To register, visit

Jan. 13
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Cedar Rapids, 8:30 a.m., online. Join for community connections and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit

1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9 a.m., online. Join for community connections and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit
Whole Organization Budgeting: A Collaborative Approach for Nonprofits, by CLA, 10 a.m., online. Learn the four phases of whole organization budgeting, how to involve a wide cross-section of staff in the budgeting process and outline an effective plan for using your organization’s resources. Free. To register, visit
Jan. 14 
Unleashing Your Personal Power, by SCORE of East Central Iowa, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., online. Learn the six steps to unleashing your dream. Free. To register, visit
Celebration of Excellence, by National Association of Women Business Owners-Iowa, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., online. NAWBO Iowa is celebrating women business owners in Iowa, highlighting honorees’ accomplishments. Cost: $40. To register, visit
Leadership for Remote Work in Today’s New Virtual World, by PMI Eastern Iowa, noon, online. Natalie Steck, CEO of Viewpath, will share her experiences, challenges, best practices and helpful tips on how to lead virtual teams. Free. To register, visit
Uptown Master Plan and Streetscape Presentation, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 5:30-7 p.m., online. The master plan for the Uptown area will be presented. Free. To register, visit
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Headlines from KCRG-TV9
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9 

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation on Thursday that will lift restrictions on sports and other recreational gatherings while extending other restrictions through February. According to a statement from the governor, the proclamation requires the continued use of masks at indoor public spaces when people are unable to social distance for 15 minutes or longer. Spectator limits for sporting and recreational gatherings, including high school-sponsored events, will be lifted today. Other public health measures are extended until Feb. 6.

A Coralville man has been arrested after breaking into the North Liberty Fire Department building and causing damage to property inside. In a criminal complaint, police said witnesses saw 30-year-old Robert Mlejnek break into the North Liberty Fire Department at 25 W. Cherry St. just after midnight Jan. 3. Mlejnek reportedly broke a window in a garage bay door before climbing into the building. While inside, officials said he caused an estimated $5,000 in damage to fire department property. Mlejnek told police he had been kicked out of a local bar and had a lot to drink. Police reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol on him, and that he had slurred speech and red watery eyes. Officials said Mlejnek was uncooperative with law enforcement, even kicking at them while he was taken into custody. Mlejnek has been charged with criminal mischief, interference with official acts and public intoxication.

These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast
Clouds and fog have remained in place and continue through the day. A light northeast-northerly flow at the surface keeps the temperatures from changing much. Quiet weather continues next week with seasonable 20s for the high. There are signs of a more active and colder pattern in one week including possible snowfall.