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MHT 04-10-2006


Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology - 

April 10, 2006 by Dyke Hendrickson

R2D2's role as Luke Skywalker's trusted droid in the "Star Wars" movies endeared millions to the world of robots. Directors of M2D2, a new incubator at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are

hoping the familiar-sounding turn of an acronym will help endear it as trusted player in the medical-device field.

So far so good. M2D2, which stands for Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, is set to welcome its first tenant company, Perfusion Technology LLC, next month.

The center launched with a $135,000 grant from the state's University Science and Technology Fund.

Stephen McCarthy, M2D2's director, says Perfusion is the first of what he hopes will be many in the new center.

"We are prepared to provide support in terms of space, preparation for SBIR grants and perhaps even help in developing clinical trials," said McCarthy, a professor of plastics engineering at UMass

Lowell. "We are going to have consultants from the Donahue Institute (at UMass Boston), help develop plans. Then we will look for participation from government and corporations."

Perfusion, founded in 2003, is developing technology to deliver drugs to the brain for the treatment of brain tumors, stroke and epilepsy. The small private company has been operating in

Lawrence, and executives say they look forward to M2D2's support.

"M2D2 offers one-stop shopping, if you can call it that," said Al Kyle, chief executive of Perfusion.

"It has access to faculty with expertise in life sciences, to animal laboratories, technical facilities and staff.

"We've been all over the place in the past two years, in Ohio, the Virgin Islands, Boston, Lawrence and more, working with investigators, animals trials and business development. To be able to operate in one location will be very welcome."

Day-to-day manager of M2D2 is Paul Wormser, who is also entrepreneur-in-residence at the university.

Wormser said Perfusion will be a strong tenant because its founders -- Kyle and partner Dr. Ulrich Herken -- are veteran entrepreneurs, and that they have already begun applying for National Institutes of Health grants.

Read this article online.