UMass Press, June 3, 2009
by Renae Lias Claffey
LOWELL, Mass. – The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) Advisory Board last week voted to support four new medical device ideas: three affiliated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center and one from a Duxbury entrepreneur.
The latest round of “Fast Lane” awards brings to 14 the number of start-ups that have received funding awards and to 27 the total number of companies assisted by M2D2, the UMass Lowell–UMass Worcester initiative charged with bridging the gap between the invention and production of new medical devices. The Fast Lane program was established in 2007 with funding from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute. “This round of medical device ideas holds out the promise of saving lives,” said UMass Lowell Prof. Stephen McCarthy, co-director of M2D2 with UMass Worcester’s Sheila Noone, assistant vice provost for clinical research. “We are eager to work with the doctors, to make sure their products can be manufactured, and to provide all entrepreneurs targeted assistance. Our goal: a developed, marketable product likely to obtain outside funding.”
The four successful M2D2 applicants and their products are:
- Aura Medsystems Inc., of Duxbury, led by Robert Redmond, for Photochemical Tissue Bonding (PTB)
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital-affiliated Padraig Cantillon-Murphy of Needham for SAMSEN: Self-Assembling Magnetic System via Endoscopic Needle (Addressing Gallstone Disease)
- Tufts Medical Center-affiliated W. Travis Lau of Medford for Novel Handheld Safety Suturing Device
- Children's Hospital Boston-affiliated John Kheir for I.V. Oxygen Using Injectable Microbubbles
The companies were offered about a $50,000 commitment from M2D2, provided they have matching funding. Services to be provided for all companies include:
- Product prototyping
- Marketing and business planning assistance
- UMass Medical School assistance.
In addition, Aura Medsystems Inc. will move into M2D2’s incubator space, located in the Wannalancit Mill building on the UMass Lowell campus.
The M2D2 Advisory Board is made up of executives from medical device companies,venture capital firms, economic development and higher education officials, faculty and medical professionals.
M2D2 also recently held a showcase and open house at the UMass Lowell headquarters, drawing more than 200 participants. About twenty start-up companies pitched their product ideas or showcased them with displays. The event capped off the city of Lowell’s Small Business Week.