Two Minnesota startups are joining forces to debut what they claim is a faster and more effective way to test drug-coated stents at the nation's premier biotechnology conference this week.

Nanocopoeia of St. Paul and the Integra Group of Brooklyn Park will announce today a new company called NanoInterventions whose core technology is a mouse-based testing system for drug-coated stents.

The new model can speed development of the experimental devices by testing them on mice, which, according to NanoInterventions, offer a better vehicle to replicate diseased human blood vessels. The announcement will come at the BIO conference in San Diego. BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) is the largest trade association for biotech companies. For more on this story, go to the Patent Pending blog at