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Upstate announces winners of 2019 Medical Device Innovation Challenge

The CNYBAC sponsors the medical device innovation challenge

A shoulder-mounted IV system, urinary catheters with improved infection control, the transformation of well-known video games into respiratory therapy exercise, and an inconspicuous breast pump for moms are among the six winners of Upstate Medical University’s 2019 Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC), sponsored by Upstate MIND (Medical Innovation and Novel Discovery Center) at the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC), Upstate Medical University.

Winners receive six months of free work space at the Creation Garage at the CNYBAC, plus access to Upstate Medical University research and clinical experts as well as use of Upstate’s core research facilities. Participants also gain intensive mentorship from a cadre of medical device product development, regulatory, commercialization and legal experts. Collaborative partners involved in the program include Blackstone LaunchPad, Innovation Law Center, Upstate Venture Connect and many others.

Additionally, teams are invited to apply to student engineering capstone programs at Syracuse University and Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario).

The intent of the six-month program is to promote understanding of and build networks for innovative and technology-driven biotech product and service development and commercialization.

“The innovators in our region continue to find new ways and opportunities to enhance the health and well-being of patients or those with medical conditions,” said Kathi Durdon, executive director of the CNY Biotech Accelerator. “Through this program, these innovators will find a ready supply of expertise, support and encouragement to move their products and ideas forward.”

Companies selected as winners or the 2019 Medical Device Innovative Challenge are:

—CathBuddy Inc., of Woodbury, which is making reusable urinary intermittent catheters system for people with neurogenic bladder (the loss of bladder control due to brain or spinal cord or nerve problem). The system includes an at-home sterilization unit, a reusable catheter insertion aid and a reusable urinary catheter.

—Halamine Inc., of Ithaca, which aims to develop a new category of “hydrogel skin” coated urinary catheters with improved infection control. This coating innovation is based on a new composition of hydrogel materials (named HalaGel) that combines antimicrobial and anti-immunoreaction chemistries, which were  invented by Cornell University biological engineering researcher Mingyu Qiao, co-founder of Halamine Inc.

—MedUX, of Syracuse, which is creating a shoulder-mounted portable IV system (called L-IV, for Liberating Intravenous) that allows people in hospital settings or disaster situations to get IV treatment comfortably and efficiently without being tethered to an IV pole.

—Megan Thomas, of Syracuse, which is developing a breast pump that can be used while a women engage in daily activities, whether at the workplace or at home. The product’s goal is to eliminating the time women must spend solely on pumping. Thomas wants to enable women to pump in the physical workplace without the social stigma of having to seek a storage or break room.

—Revital Therapeutics, of New Jersey, which is a tissue engineering company dedicated to creating off-the-shelf tissue grafts for a wide range of conditions and surgical procedures. Like donated tissues, Revital’s tissues are composed of 100 percent native human extracellular matrix, meaning complete biocompatibility and high activity of the growth factors. Revital’s tissues are optimized for wound healing, able to control inflammation, while at the same time stimulating regrowth at sites of damage and disease.

—ZephyRx of Albany, which designs breath-powered video game controllers so popular video games can be used in respiratory therapy for conditions, such as pneumonia, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Additional support for the program comes from the Empire State Development (ESD) NYS Certified Business Incubator Grant.

Central New York Biotech Accelerator, Upstate Medical University, is a 52,300 square foot facility offering wet and dry labs, services, coordinated resources, targeted mentorship and education to individuals and startup companies involved in the commercialization of biotech innovation.

Caption: The Central New York Biotech Accelerator, Upstate Medical University, located at 841 E. Fayette St., Syracuse.