Startup incubator aims to spur life-saving innovations

Cutting-edge solutions for heart, lung, blood, sleep disorders sought

LOWELL, Mass. – A business incubator working to improve the lives of patients with heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders is expanding its reach to the next generation of pioneering biotech and medical-device entrepreneurs.

Heart, lung and blood diseases account for 41 percent of deaths in the United States and lead to more than $400 billion in health-care expenses and lost income to patients and caregivers, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies (CAPCaT) assists inventors developing new technologies and medical devices designed to help patients with these conditions manage their well-being wherever they are. The goal is to improve quality of life and reduce the time patients spend in the hospital. CAPCaT is seeking more entrepreneurs to join the incubator in this work.

Innovations supported by CAPCaT are devices and technologies well on their way to going to market. Products already being developed at CAPCaT include a product to help critically ill infants sleep better, an online education program for patients to manage hypertension and a portable device that can evaluate how the user’s platelets are performing. The center also seeks to support technologies that promote holistic methods of managing diseases, including devices that measure stress levels or promote mindfulness.

CAPCaT is one of four centers across the country in the National Institutes of Health Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network, which was created in 2018 to help revolutionize patient care.

Supported by a $7.9 million grant from the NIH, CAPCaT is part of the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), operated by UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School in Worcester to help biotech and medical-device startups bridge the gap between idea and market. CAPCaT is driven by the talent and aspirations of participating entrepreneurs; the expertise of scientists, business developers and legal analysts; and the resources available at UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School in collaboration with industry partners.

M2D2’s support of medical-device startups in Massachusetts has contributed $42 million in direct economic impact with a total positive effect of $75 million, according to the UMass Donahue Institute. Expanding CAPCaT is expected to increase this impact.

“CAPCaT is an exciting collaboration between clinicians at UMass Medical School and engineers at UMass Lowell that helps medical-device developers as they move their products toward commercialization, knowing these life-changing inventions will help so many patients and transform the industry,” said Prof. Bryan Buchholz, co-director of CAPCaT and chairman of UMass Lowell’s Biomedical Engineering Department.

Successful applicants will receive seed funding and the support of M2D2’s medical, business and legal experts as well as those in the private sector and from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

“Last year, we received 90 expressions of interest from entrepreneurs in 26 states and three countries. We were amazed by the quality of applications we received and can’t wait to see what technologies are submitted this year,” said Dr. David McManus, CAPCaT’s co-director and professor of medicine at UMass Medical School.

Entrepreneurs around the world working on inventions that are close to being tested in clinical settings are encouraged to apply to join the center. The application deadline is Monday, March 2. Individuals interested in more information should email Mary Dubuque at [email protected]

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About the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center

M2D2 operates laboratories, research and development and other workspace at UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School in Worcester for medical-device and biotech ventures. Since its inception in 2007, M2D2 has assisted more than 100 companies. Each year, the M2D2 $200K Challenge awards seed funding to the best new concepts from early-stage medical device, diagnostic and biotech companies around the globe.

About UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the globe. http://www.uml.edu

About UMass Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), one of five campuses of the University system, comprises the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing, a thriving research enterprise and an innovative public service initiative, Commonwealth Medicine. Its mission is to advance the health of the people of the commonwealth through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. In doing so, it has built a reputation as a world-class research institution and as a leader in primary care education. The Medical School attracts more than $257 million annually in research funding, placing it among the top 50 medical schools in the nation. In 2006, UMMS’s Craig C. Mello, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with colleague Andrew Z. Fire, PhD, of Stanford University, for their discoveries related to RNA interference (RNAi). The 2013 opening of the Albert Sherman Center ushered in a new era of biomedical research and education on campus. Designed to maximize collaboration across fields, the Sherman Center is home to scientists pursuing novel research in emerging scientific fields with the goal of translating new discoveries into innovative therapies for human diseases.

Contact:

UMass Lowell: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, [email protected]

UMass Medical School: Sandra Gray, 508-856-5842, [email protected]

Media Contact
Nancy Cicco
[email protected]

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