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12 Medical Devices Articles | Page:

Innovation Summit will draw more than 1,000 to Cleveland

The Cleveland Clinic’s annual Medical Innovation Summit will be the first event held at Cleveland’s brand new Global Center for Health Innovation. The event will be held October 14 through 16, and organizers expect it to draw more than 1,200 people.
"We’ll have CEOs from major companies, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs,” says Gary Fingerhut, acting executive director and general manager of information technology commercialization at the Clinic. “Deals come out of this summit. Past innovation deals have been made on the buy-side and in research.”
More than 1,000 jobs and $700 million in investments have been created from the regional spinoff companies.
On the first day, 12 startup healthcare companies will have a chance to pitch their companies to a panel of executives. “The winner gets a year engagement with StartUp Health Academy."

The theme this year is "Finding Balance through Innovation: Obesity, Diabetes and the Metabolic Crisis." Fingerhut says the topic was chosen because of the growing international concern about diabetes. "Clearly, it's an economic problem in the world," he says. Demonstration and panel discussions will focus on the impacts of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Mike Roizen and a panel of experts will discuss the Clinic's top 10 medical innovations for 2014. hiVelocity readers can receive a discount to the summit. Go to the registration page and use promo code FRE2013 for a special $500 rate on registration.

Source: Gary Fingerhut
Writer: Karin Connelly

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies set to expand telemedicine for Parkinson's treatment

For the last several years, Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT) has been using telemedicine technology to study Parkinson's disease. The Cleveland-based provider of patient-centered diagnostic and therapy systems is planning to expand its approach by adding real-time video conferencing to its existing Kinesia HomeView™ innovation.
The technology is currently under development at GLNT with clinical validation studies planned for this fall. Adding video conferencing to currently available remote monitoring of Parkinson's patients will keep patients engaged in treatment, says Dr. Dustin Heldman, biomed research manager at GLNT.
"Patients will be more likely to take medications when they're supposed to, and (through the system) will be assessed more regularly," says Heldman.  Through the video feed, patients living far from treatment centers won't have to make potentially pricey trips for medication adjustments and other routine maintenance, notes the technology group research manager.
The current Kinesia system includes motion sensors patients wear and a broadband integrated tablet which users employ to follow video instructions and complete motor assessments. Telemedicine is a growing healthcare market trend designed to improve patient care and accessibility. Applications include live video conferencing, remote monitoring and store and forward technologies.   
This type of technology is especially useful for monitoring Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative movement disorder that can afflict its sufferers with a variety tremors, slowed movements and gait abnormities. These symptoms can change daily in type and severity, making a patient's condition difficult to determine during a short office visit. Creating a visualization tool for such a complex disease will only help in its treatment, Heldman says.

Source: Dr. Dustin Heldman
Writer: Douglas J. Guth

New Cleveland-based biomed company will speed delivery of stem cells to patients

Arteriorcyte, a developer of stem cell products and medical devices in Cleveland, has launched Compass Biomedical to speed up the delivery to patients three Arteriocyte stem cells products. Created in December 2012, Compass officially got underway in June.
“The purpose of Compass is to help solve the issues in getting stem cells to patients,” says Kolby Day, Compass Biomedical vice president and general manager of research and development. “The challenges are having enough stem cells and improving the tools used.”
Compass supplies three product lines used to grow stem cells for research and in clinical settings. The products mimic bone marrow and promote the growth of stem cell cultures. “Arteriocyte is more the research and development company, while Compass is more of the team that sells, markets and gets those products into the hands of people who can use them,” says Day.

Compass has hired four people since December. As Arteriocyte develops new products, Day expects Compass will in turn expand its team. “We want to continue to build the sales team and continue finding products to sell,” he says. “We anticipate bringing in at least two to three products in the next six months, and we will be hiring based on demand.”

Source: Kolby Day
Writer: Karin Connelly

The world's most powerful MRI lands in northeast Ohio

After more than a two-year wait and construction of its very own building, the Cleveland Clinic took delivery of and installed a 7 Tesla full-body MRI last month. It is the only one of its kind in northeast Ohio, and one of only about a dozen in the country.
While the 1.5 Tesla MRI is more common, and the Clinic even has several 3 Tesla MRIs, the 7 Tesla provides a better look, even down to the cellular level. “It has special resolution where we can actually see much finer detail than a 3 Tesla or 1.5 Tesla,” says Mark Lowe, director of high field MRI at the Clinic. “With this higher special resolution you can see things you’ve never seen before.”
The MRI will be used for neuroscience research into disorders such a multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. The finer detail will allow researchers to see focal dysplasia in epilepsy patients, or greater vascular detail in angiography. The acquisition of the new machine created two new jobs, with the potential for more future jobs with grant funding.
“The bottom line is, for years MRI has been very good at imaging soft tissue contrast, but it’s not as good in spatial resolution,” says Lowe. “This provides that spatial resolution.”
It was no easy task to get the 40-ton machine to Cleveland. Lowe and his team secured funding for the $10.5 million endeavor two and a half years ago. It was scheduled for delivery in December. But a shortage of helium, which is used to cool the MRI magnet, caused further delays.
The 7 Tesla is housed in a specially constructed building next to the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis. The roof was lifted off the building to lower the MRI into place, which also comes with 350 miles of superconducting wire.

Source: Mark Lowe
Writer: Karin Connelly

Seventh healthcare organization joins Cleveland Clinic HC Innovation Alliance

Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI) announced last month that Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences is the seventh clinic to join the Clinic’s Healthcare Innovation Alliance. The collaboration will help Marshfield develop and commercialize its innovations and improve healthcare.
The alliance, formed two years ago based on CCI’s 13 years of experience, is a way for the Clinic to share its knowledge while also improving upon its reputation within the healthcare industry. In Marshfield’s case, the Clinic is hiring a senior commercialization officer who will be embedded in Wisconsin.
The officer will help to advance diagnostic tools and treatments created by Marshfield Clinic physicians, researchers and staff. The Innovation Alliance also will foster the transfer of Marshfield Clinic technology into commercialization.
“It’s about getting the technology quickly to the patient,” says Brian Kolonick, associate general manager of the Innovation Alliance. “It’s all collaboration, these are not bilateral relationships. We look for ways to collaborate, to share knowledge.”
There are 65 Clinic employees working within the alliance. “If someone in the alliance has an idea, we get a person on the ground there,” says Kolonick. “We find the right person with the right expertise. It’s getting the right people to the table.”
Conversely, the Clinic also learns about what other researchers are doing around the country. “We’re about going in there and getting fresh ideas, flushing them out and commercializing them,” says Kolonick. “It’s about getting in there and shaking trees.”
The Innovation Alliance gets a percentage of the revenues from any idea that goes to market.

Source: Brian Kolonick
Writer: Karin Connelly

Zuga Medical receives FDA approval, JumpStart investment for dental implant system

Zuga Medical, a medical device company, recently received a $250,000 investment from JumpStart to launch its dental implant system. In April Zuga received FDA approval for its system, which allows a general dentist to perform implants using a screw, a procedure previously done only by oral surgeons.
“Our patent-pending technology makes it simpler, easier and more cost-effective for both the dentist and the patient,” says Zuga CEO Steve Cornelius, who met the company’s founder and CSO, Chan Wang, a year-and-a-half ago through BioEnterprise and joined the board of directors. He then became CEO. With 15 years of experience in the dental industry, Cornelius was intrigued with Wang’s product. “Chan had a vision of making things simple for general dentistry.”
Zuga will use the JumpStart investment to conduct a soft launch with eight to nine local dentists. Those dentists will take a training course on placing the implants next month. “We’re using the local soft launch in Cleveland to prove out our business model and raise the next round of investments,” Cornelius says. “Our vision is to create a dental company right here in Cleveland.”
As Zuga grows, Cornelius hopes to hire three to four sales reps, a marketing person and a customer service rep by the end of the year.
Zuga Medical has also received investments from the Cuyahoga County North Coast Opportunities Fund and the Innovation Fund.

Source: Steve Cornelius
Writer: Karin Connelly

Cleveland's NDI Medical continues to grow rapidly in neuro-stim field

When Geoff Thorpe founded NDI Medical in 2002 with his neurostimulation device for bladder control, he saw a market with a lot of potential. The company sold its MEDSTIM device to Medtronic in 2008, kept the NDI name and branched into developing and commercializing new neurostimulation device companies.
The move has proved successful. NDI has launched two companies and has grown to 32 employees, 21 of whom work in NDI’s Cleveland headquarters. The company also has offices in North Carolina and Minnesota. Most recently, NDI Medical named Marilyn Eisele as president of the company. She has been with NDI about a year, previously serving as vice president of finance and CFO.
“What attracted me to the company was the innovation coming out of the collective enterprise,” Eisele says. “We took a step back after we sold the company in 2008 and decided to reinvent and continue the business as a development company where we develop new therapies.”
Since selling the company and regrouping as a developer of new technologies, NDI Medical has raised $17 million in private equity and another $9 million in grants and loans. In 2010, the company launched Checkpoint Surgical, which makes a device that allows surgeons to locate nerves and muscles before making an incision, and SPR Therapeutics, which develops nerve stimulation devices for pain management. Sales have doubled each year since Checkpoint was launched.
“In some ways we are a development company, and in some ways we’re an incubator company,” says Eisele. “We’re able to develop medical devices so each portfolio company doesn’t need its own team of engineers. It’s a very cost-effective way to use research.”
NDI Medical is in the process of launching a third company in the next few months.

Source: Marilyn Eisele
Writer: Karin Connelly

Ireland's Taoiseach enda kenny announces new partnership with cleveland clinic innovations

The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) announced a new partnership between Ireland-based company i360medical and Cleveland Clinic Innovations during a speech at the City Club of Cleveland last week.
The partnership will result in i360medical representing the European wing of the Cleveland Clinic’s Innovation Alliance program -- the corporate venturing arm of the Cleveland Clinic. The program itself has 52 spinoff companies that have raised approximately $620 million in equity financing, according to Executive Director Chris Coburn.
i360medical bills itself as a medical device innovation company acting as an international and national hub for new healthcare ideas and medical technologies.
Frank Ryan, CEO at Enterprise Ireland -- a government funded organization tasked with developing and growing Irish companies in world markets, says there are two reasons why they wanted to work with the Cleveland Clinic.
“First of all, innovation. The clinicians here at the Cleveland Clinic are renowned for competence and expertise,” he says. “Secondly, it means exposing Irish companies to those clinicians and the development of new medical device technologies.”
Coburn says the Clinic first linked with Enterprise Ireland in the middle of the last decade. “20 percent of cardiologists in Ireland were trained in Cleveland Clinic,” he says, adding Cleveland’s strong Irish heritage was another building block early on in their relationship. It quickly became clear that Enterprise Ireland was “a perfect fit.”
“We view Enterprise Ireland as an absolute leader in terms of public-private entities looking to stimulate growth,” says Coburn. “This is a very sophisticated operation, and I think a role model for other entities, whether state or county or local, in terms of doing it right.”
Source: Chris Coburn, Frank Ryan, Brian O’Neil
Writer: Joe Baur

osu and cleveland clinic join forces to accelerate medical commercialization and jobs creation

The Ohio State University’s Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Transfer Office (TCO) and Cleveland Clinic Innovations recently formed a special alliance with the goal of helping move Ohio into the forefront of medical innovation and enhance job creation in the state.

“Nationally, this is one of the few alliances of this kind between prominent academic medical centers, putting Ohio in a leadership position for the commercialization of medical technology,” according to Brian Cummings, OSU’s vice president of technology commercialization.

Efforts will focus on improving and extending the lives of patients, and innovations will come in many forms, such as medical devices, patient services, new medical software systems, consumer products and startup companies, Cummings explains.
“This partnership holds enormous potential for Ohio to reshape the future of medicine,” says Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee in a news release.

The two organizations will be sharing and using their comprehensive technology and commercialization service infrastructures to develop and deploy new medical innovations generated by researchers, physicians, faculty and administrative staff at both institutions.

“Our first step going forward is to assess each other’s assets, available resources, unique programs and intellectual property portfolios and to begin to analyze the overlaps and gaps where we can assist each other,” Cummings says.

Cummings cites neuromodulation as an important innovation for the new partnership to explore. “Neuromodulation is one of the hottest areas of research and breakthrough innovation in current medical practice,” he says. "It has the potential through electrical stimulation to literally turn diseases off and on."

"Dr. Ali Rezai is a leader in this field and currently works at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center but started his work at the Cleveland Clinic, where he has built up a large portfolio of high-value companies and patents," Cummings adds. "Using the Clinic’s existing intellectual property and the clinical capabilities of Dr. Rezai’s current work at Ohio State should lead to a string of joint innovations and a host of new companies."

Source: Brian Cummings
Writer: Lynne Meyer

first customer offers entrepreneurs face time with decision makers

Getting face time with the right decision-makers is priority # 1 for any would-be entrepreneur. A terrific idea for a much-needed product may never become reality if it can’t presented to the right people.

Unfortunately, getting face time with the right decision makers doesn’t come easily for entrepreneurs. Fortunately, a one-year-old program in Columbus called First Customer is helping to change that for Central Ohio entrepreneurs. 

First Customer is a joint initiative of Tech Columbus, whose mission is to accelerate the growth of Central Ohio's innovation economy, and Columbus 2020, an economic development organization.  The new organization is currently focusing its efforts on helping qualified entrepreneurs get access to decision makers at established medical device and software businesses.

Such access comes through a steering committee of eight chief information officers from a wide range of industries and fields, such as real estate, utilities, city government, restaurants, hospitals, insurance and fashion.

“To qualify, the entrepreneur must have a clear concept, a written business plan, a team in place and a previous funding source,” explains Parker MacDonell, who is facilitating First Customer. “The individual must also have completed a beta or clinical test and be ready to commercialize the product or service.”

According to MacDonnell, First Customer has had some 35 startups begin the vetting process since the program launched. “Three have gotten business so far, and there are another four or five that will over time,” he notes.

The idea for First Customer came from Columbus laparoscopic surgeon Dr. Wayne Poll. Dr. Poll invented a medical device to help doctors maintain clear sight during a laparoscopic procedure. While his device is now a success, Dr. Poll discovered that hospitals can be difficult to navigate when it comes to new products.

He hoped to see an organization created to help entrepreneurs get access to decision makers. First Customer is the result of his farsighted idea.
Source:  Parker MacDonell
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

medical device startup nabs 75k from innovation fund

LifeServe Innovations, which is developing a percutaneous tracheostomy introducer dilator, recently received $75,000 from the Lorain Innovation Fund. The device allows medical personnel to place a tracheotomy tube with greater ease and with fewer procedural complications than existing systems.
Co-founders Zach Bloom and Rick Arlow first came up with the idea as a class assignment while attending Lehigh University. “We were looking for problems to solve in emergency or critical care,” recalls Bloom. “We ultimately developed a safer and much more user-friendly approach.”
While they each went on to graduate school, they took their intellectual property and decided to bring their device to market. LifeServe Innovations was born in 2009. Bloom and Arlow chose Cleveland for its balance of medical and entrepreneurial support. “Cleveland is an entrepreneurial community and a medical community,” Bloom says.
The process of developing the dilator was one of trial and error. “It’s the nature of any startup -- the product you ultimately come up with is never the original,” says Bloom. “We kept designing products for surgical airways until we found something that met the need.”
LifeServe will use the grant money to manufacture and test their dilator. “We hope to have the product cleared for market by the end of second quarter,” says Bloom. While the company has volunteers helping them, Bloom hopes to hire two to three people in the near future. “As the growth begins to come and we see success in our investment, we want to bring income to Cleveland.”

Source: Zach Bloom
Writer: Karin Connelly

Third Frontier grant will help save lives and money--and create business opportunities in Ohio

Three northeast Ohio businesses, with the aid of a $2.5 million grant from Ohio's Third Frontier, are researching first-of-their-kind imaging technology that will help detect medical conditions, such as cancer, sooner and save hospitals money by reducing the number of biopsies taken.
Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and Philips Healthcare, partnered in the summer of 2010 to form the Philips Healthcare Global Advanced Imaging Innovation Center, where they have multiple projects aimed at combining the best attributes of CT, PET and MRI imaging systems to give doctors better tools in identifying breast cancer and take earlier action in heart attack patients.
The projects, which combine medical imaging technologies already in use, could eventually save hospitals millions in costs, give Ohio a leg-up on their commercialization and--most importantly--save lives.
In one project, the partners hope to combine PET (Positron Emission Tomography) with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems, both of which are currently used to detect early signs of breast cancer, to provide doctors with higher resolution imaging that will ultimately give doctors a clearer picture of what’s happening inside the body.
"The focus is on improving the spatial resolution, allowing us to find tumors much smaller than we can find now," says Dr. Raymond Muzic, the project's leader and an associate professor at Case Western. "MRI's, when used clinically, often show spots that look suspicious but turn out to not be a problem. Getting images with higher resolution will help us determine which spots are a problem and which are not."
The better imaging would reduce the number of biopsies doctors order to determine malignancy, saving hospitals thousands of dollars. It would also help doctors catch tumors much earlier, which could mean the difference between life and death.
According to the American Cancer Society, patients who are diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer, with tumors two centimeters or smaller, have up to a 20 percent greater chance of surviving cancer than patients who advance to Stage II, in which tumors are larger and start spreading to the lymph nodes.
The second project looks to do something similar--only with heart patients. Researchers are pairing cardiac perfusion technology with CT scanners, creating a novel imaging system that would allow emergency room doctors to assess the extent and location of damaged heart muscle when time is of the essence.
The partners are each contributing $1 million toward the projects, along with equipment and the time of researchers and engineers. Once the engineering is completed, University Hospitals and Case Western will oversee the clinical trials. Results are expected "within a few years," according to Muzic.
"The projects are a win-win for everybody involved," he said. "The goal is to develop a product here in Ohio that can be manufactured in Ohio by an Ohio company and marketed throughout the world. It's a win for each of the partners and it's a win for the state."
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