UMass Lowell-UMass Medical School Initiative Aids Industry
LOWELL, Mass. ߝ The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) Advisory Board last week voted to support four new medical device ideas: three from entrepreneurs affiliated with Brigham and Women’s, Children’s, and Tufts Medical Center and one from a Duxbury entrepreneur.
The latest round of “Fast Lane” awards brings to 14 the number of start-up companies that have received funding awards and to 27 the total number of companies assisted by M2D2, the UMass Lowell ߝ 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 Assistant Vice Provost for Clinical Research Sheila Noone. “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 were:
- Aura Medsystems, Inc., of Duxbury, MA, 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 posters. The event capped off the city of Lowell’s “Small Business Week.”
UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. It offers its 12,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $193 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The work of UMMS researcher Craig Mello, PhD, an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, then of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, toward the discovery of RNA interference was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has spawned a new and promising field of research, the global impact of which may prove astounding. UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health care provider in Central Massachusetts. For more information, visit
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