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M2D2 $200K Challenge names biomedical innovation contest winners

UMass Medical School and UMass Lowell joint venture advances startup entrepreneurship

UMass Medical School Communications

April 14, 2021

UMass Medical School and UMass Lowell announced the winners of the 2021 Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) $200K Challenge at an online event held on April 7. The annual pitch contest, now in its 10th year, drives innovations in health care by showcasing the pioneering work of early-stage medical device, diagnostic and biotech companies.

Acoustica Bio, a startup aiming to transform how patients receive intravenous medications, is the top winner among those splitting $200,000 in seed money and sponsor-provided services including lab and office space; engineering; product development; and legal, regulatory, clinical and business services. Other awardees include BioSens8, advancing development of an at-home fertility test with a new $25,000 innovation award; Weill Cornell for new 3D MRI technology; SaluTech Limited for a new method to treat atrial fibrillation; and General Prognostics for remote technology to monitor blood biomarkers. A total of 11 companies received awards.

M2D2 is a joint venture of UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School. The center operates lab-based incubators in Lowell and Worcester and offers networking opportunities and other programs to assist startup entrepreneurs with all aspects of moving new products and technologies from the drawing board to the marketplace.

“Medical-device and biotech startups assisted by M2D2 benefit from the partnership between UMass Medical School and UMass Lowell through the co-location of labs in Worcester and Lowell and our world-class faculty and researchers who share their expertise to advance companies’ innovations,” said Nathaniel Hafer, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine, co-director of M2D2 and director of operations for the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Since the center was founded in 2007, M2D2 has vetted more than 250 medical-device and biotech ventures for inclusion in its programs and provided support to more than 100 startups. In total, M2D2 resident companies have secured more than $150 million in external funding for their innovations.

Challenge sponsors include Amgen; Argenta Advisors, LLC; Asahi-Intecc USA Medical; Boston Scientific; Deshpande Foundation; Hologic; Johnson & Johnson Innovation; Kohler; MPR Associates Inc.; Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council; Mintz; RQMIS; and Sarepta Therapeutics.

“M2D2 is proud to help grow the medical device and biotech ecosystem through the $200K Challenge and the center’s many programs and services for startups in these sectors. Once again, this year’s contest featured remarkable innovations that are poised to energize the market and transform the landscape of health care,” said Steven Tello, vice provost of graduate, online and professional studies at UMass Lowell.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
NIH invests in rapid innovation and development for COVID-19 testing
M2D2 receives $7.9M NIH grant for new center to assist medical-device entrepreneurs