M2D2 Cape Town, South Africa

In 2003, based on the announcement by researchers that heart disease is the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association kicked off ‘Go Red For Women” to raise public awareness.
As part of the ‘Go Red For Women’ movement, the American Heart Association has named the first Friday of each February as National Wear Red Day’ It is the day each year set aside to draw attention to this silent killer of women and motivate them to know their cardiovascular risk and take the necessary actions to live healthier, longer lives.
This year, Wear Red Day was Friday, February 7th. While you can see from the photo that I wasn’t wearing red on this special day, it was fitting that I was in Cape Town, South Africa, where cardiology is a prominent medical discipline and also where the first heart transplant surgery was completed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in 1967. I was representing our innovation hub and making a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs and academics at the University of Cape Town, some of whom are interested in establishing a U.S. presence for their start-up businesses at M2D2.

MSAT Fellows Visit Pretoria Innovation Center

On day two, the MSAT Fellowship group was welcomed to the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. Business Development Manager Karen Smith and Bioscience Specialist Dr. Chamunorwa Togo led a presentation about the Innovation Hub then opened it to discussion and talk of collaboration.

The tour of the Innovation Hub included meetings with three of their client companies. The first was with VX Pharma, a start-up company offering lab testing and clinical trial services. The second meeting was with Altis Biologics. CEO Nicolaas Duneas explained their business of bone regeneration using BMP complex purification technology. The third meeting was with Kenny Masobe, CEO of Egolibio. They are a development agent for the commercialization of bioscience products.
On day three, the MSAT will disband and fellows will report to their respective work sites.



M2D2 Participates in Massachusetts-South Africa Technology Fellowship

The Massachusetts-South Africa Technology Fellowship Program is co-managed by South Africa Partners in Boston and Bentley University. It is funded through Pro Fellows, a US State Department initiative.

Last October, a group of South African professionals in the technology and life sciences fields spent time working in Massachusetts at various sites, including M2D2. Now it is time for the reverse exchange. For the next two weeks, a group of seven professionals from Massachusetts are working in different areas of South Africa. Led by Carol Cashion Jackson from the South Africa Partners Boston office, the US contingent includes Mary Ann Picard from M2D2, Catherine Ives from MIT, Sarah Delmar from the Cambridge Innovation Center, Andrea Stamp from MassMedic, Beth Nicklas from the Mass Life Sciences Center, Terrence Dobrowsky from Biogen Idec, and Larry Heim from State Street.

On Day 1 we set the backdrop by visiting Constitution Hill and Liliesleaf, important current, historical and cultural sites. Tomorrow we head to the Innovation Center in Pretoria followed by the official welcome dinner.
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M2D2 Client Company Announces CE Mark

LOWELL, Mass., Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –InfoBionic’, an emerging digital health company focused on creating superior patient monitoring solutions for chronic disease management, today announced receipt of CE Mark for the MoMe’ System for cardiac arrhythmia monitoring. The MoMe System is the first universal remote patient monitoring platform with seamless transition between Holter, Event, and Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) modes. The innovative platform, which leverages Cloud computing and proprietary analytics, is poised to revolutionize the $3B worldwide cardiac monitoring market by delivering on-demand access to patient data for diagnosis.

The MoMe System draws on the recent convergence of medical devices, database analytics, new sensors, and wireless protocols to provide a universal patient monitoring platform complete with real-time, high-quality patient data for improved arrhythmia detection.

“Existing cardiac patient monitoring systems have significant limitations, including poor data quality and limited data availability,” stated Liviu Klein, M.D., UCSF Heart and Vascular Center. “The MoMe System provides high-quality data and real-time rhythm history as well as activity, respiration and symptom tracking that allows me to make a fast, accurate, timely and efficient medical diagnosis.”

Nancy Briefs, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased to receive CE Mark for the MoMe System. We believe the system will transform the arrhythmia monitoring market by offering superior arrhythmia detection and favorable physician practice economics. We look forward to commercializing our first product for cardiac arrhythmia monitoring in early 2014.”

About InfoBionic:

InfoBionic’ Inc., an emerging digital health company is dedicated to transforming healthcare delivery by providing anywhere, anytime access to cardiac event monitoring with improved event detection and clinical efficacy through a lower cost business model. The MoMe’ System offers superior remote patient monitoring for chronic diseases with an initial market focus on cardiac arrhythmias.

For more information please visit www.infobionic.com.

SOURCE InfoBionic Inc.

Smith & Nephew and Nutter McLennen & Fish co-sponsor 3rd Annual M2D2 Med Device Competition

Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN;LSE:SN), the global medical technology business, is proud to announce it will co-sponsor the 2014 Massachusetts Medical Device Development (M2D2) Center’s New Venture Competition. Designed to showcase innovative ideas coming out of early-stage medical device companies, the nationwide competition this year will focus on Joint Reconstruction, Sports Medicine, and Trauma.

The prizes will total $50,000 of in-kind services including facilities, engineering, legal, business and medical device assistance from Smith & Nephew and the competition co-sponsors, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and M2D2, a joint initiative of the University of Massachusetts’ Lowell and Worcester campuses.

‘We’re excited about this collaboration,’ explains Dr. Ruth Cheng, Director of Innovation for Smith & Nephew. ‘Not only does it build on our reputation as innovation leaders; it helps us foster relationships with those entrepreneurs who are on the cutting edge of the growth areas we target.’

‘M2D2 is grateful for the Smith & Nephew’s support for the New Venture Competition and entrepreneurs and startups in the medical-device sector,’ said Steven Tello, UMass Lowell’s associate vice chancellor for entrepreneurship and economic development. ‘We are honored to work with a company that exemplifies success in the industry in Massachusetts and around the globe.’

For the competition, Smith & Nephew has identified five areas where innovation will help address current and future needs in orthopaedic reconstruction, sports medicine, and trauma:

  • Tools which enable procedure
    would reduce procedural steps, shorten overall procedure time, provide
    surgeons with greater confidence, and/or ensure consistency from procedure
    to procedure.
  • Tissue sparing procedures: Solutions would shorten recovery time,
    decrease the incision/number of portals, and/or reduce bone removal/soft
    tissue damage, and/or minimize potential for human error.
  • Stabilization of and integration/fixation
    to bone:
    Solutions would
    provide high fixation strength both immediately and long-term, and work
    regardless of bone density.
  • Novel soft tissue repair: Solutions would provide or restore the
    alignment and functionality of the target tissue immediately and long
    term, and be minimally invasive.
  • Joint preservation solutions: Solutions would provide effective
    protection of joints, and be minimally invasive. Solution can be either
    short-term or long-term/permanent. Early intervention solutions preferred.

All applicants must submit an initial application which will be reviewed by M2D2. Fifteen finalists will then be invited to present their concepts in-person at a public event at M2D2’s offices on March 26, 2014.

For more information on the competition and how to apply, companies should visit www.uml.edu/M2D2.


Eastern Bank is the corporate sponsor for a year-long series of ‘Shark Tank’ medical device venture pitch events. The most recent one took place on Wednesday, October 30th in the board room at M2D2’s innovation hub in front of a full audience. From a field of over 20 Massachusetts medical device start-up company applicants, 5 were chosen to make presentations to the panel.

Panelists were angel investors from Boston Harbor Angels and from Mass Medical Angels. Pitching their medical device inventions were Frederic Bourgeois from Nanopulse Biosciences, Bob Thompson from Vista Scientific, Donna Brezinski from Little Sparrow Technologies, Mark Mendel from Flow Forward Medical, and Jeff d’Agostino from 206 Ortho.

In addition to drilling the presenters on their anticipated funding needs, the investors also asked tough questions about the medical significance of their inventions, details about their business models, and status of their intellectual property.

The next event in the venture pitch series is expected to take place in January 2014.

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The Massachusetts-South Africa Technology Fellowship Program (MSAT) is made possible by a generous grant from the United States Department of State. It is designed to bring emerging leaders from South Africa to Boston for five weeks of internship in the high tech, information technology and life sciences industries. The selected Fellows arrived earlier in October and are now placed in companies within the targeted industries to learn first-hand how issues in their fields are addressed in the United States. While deepening their understanding of American society, the visiting participants are also building a broad network made up of both their new American colleagues and the other visiting Fellows.

On Friday, October 11th, M2D2 participated in the welcome dinner for their fellow, Thys Cronje, and others in this second cohort of the fellowship program.

Thys is the Managing Director of Diacoustic Medical Devices, located in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Diacoustic Medical Devices was founded in 2007 and the company focuses on the design, development and manufacture of decision support systems for medical and health applications in the e-health and m-health environment. Diacoustic Medical Devices is in the process of developing and commercializing a rapid, low cost screening device, called Sensi, that can be utilized by professional nurses, primary physicians and pediatricians irrespective of geographical location and/or economic situation, to screen large number of children in a hospital, clinic, child health clinic or mobile-clinic environment for pathological heart murmurs.

M2D2 opened their doors to welcome Thys and embraces the medical device technology he brings. He participated in an economic development roundtable discussion with University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret, University of Massachusetts Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan, as well as with other start-up companies from the M2D2 innovation hub, and Lowell business and community leaders.

Thys participated in M2D2’s program with Lowell High School. He schooled these high school juniors and seniors in the medical device industry and entrepreneurship in his native South Africa. He also accompanied the students on a tour of the nursing simulation lab at the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Nursing where they saw first-hand the assistive treatment of infant respiratory issues. This session was followed by a welcome lunch at M2D2.

M2D2 arranged for Thys Cronje to meet with medical field experts at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center to learn about usability studies and other opportunities for collaboration. Under the direction of the executive director, he toured the simulation center and anatomy labs.

The second worksite placement week of this fellowship program coincides with Connected Health Week in Boston. Thys Cronje and M2D2 will be participating in several of the events.



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M2D2 and Lowell High School Kick Off Unique Partnership

Lowell High School and the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center are pleased to announce that today they kicked off a unique partnership where juniors and seniors from the school will take part in an experience here at the M2D2 innovation hub located in Wannalancit Mill. This experience is in the form of an honors level elective course titled, ‘M2D2 Partnership Experience.’

Under guidance from M2D2 co-directors Stephen McCarthy, Ph.D and Steven Tello, and with hands-on assistance from two UTeach interns, the high school students will learn about and actively participate in entrepreneurship, business and medical device development. An event will be held at the end of the school year to showcase the students’ experience and inventions.

Corporate sponsors of the M2D2 Partnership Experience for this inaugural year are Eastern Bank and Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. Eastern Bank is supportive under its workforce development initiative and Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union brings its hands-on expertise in financial literacy to these Lowell High School students.

Professor McCarthy welcomed the students to the program. He shared that he is a graduate of Lowell High School and ‘wished there was a program like this when I was there.’ Professor Tello also welcomed the students and added, ‘I am looking forward to working with you from an entrepreneurial perspective and digging into ideation.’ Lowell High School senior and program participant, Daniel Ernst, addressed the audience, ‘I want to speak for the group of us and thank everyone involved for this opportunity. We are very excited.’

UTeach interns are involved in this partnership experience under the direction of Sumudu Lewis, Ph.D, UMass Lowell UTeach Director and Master Teacher. Interns involved in this partnership experience, John Romano and Kreg Kaminski, shared about their backgrounds as UMass Lowell students and also shared how much they are looking forward to mentoring the students and what they will accomplish with them.

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M2D2 Hosted First US / Mexico Medical Device Collaboration

On Monday, September 23rd, M2D2 was pleased to host the first Mexican Medical Device Industry Mission to Massachusetts. Joining us were the Mexican Consulate General from Boston, Daniel Hernandez Joseph, as well as thirty-five guests representing ten Mexican companies, government and educational institutions. This contingent was welcomed to campus by Chancellor Meehan, Vice Chancellor Moloney, and M2D2 co-directors Dr. Stephen McCarthy, Dr. Steven Tello, and Dr. Nate Hafer.

They toured the M2D2 innovation hub and enjoyed a working lunch where client companies shared their personal experience running their start-up businesses here, and their collaboration with UMass Lowell. The visit concluded with a tour of the Saab Emerging Technologies & Innovation Center and a networking session attended by about 100 community, university, and medical device industry professionals.

M2D2 & MATCH Hold Innovation Course for Entrepreneurs

LOWELL ‘ June 24, 2013 ‘ M2D2, in collaboration with the Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH), a UK-based organization, taught more than a dozen U.S. entrepreneurs over two days last week, focusing on international business decisions for medical device entrepreneurs.

On the first day, teaching took place at the M2D2 Innovation Hub located on the UMass Lowell campus at its medical device incubator facility. Day two took place at the UMass Club in downtown Boston.

The course covered topics relevant for medical device start-up companies. Topics included:

  • ‘ The Headroom Method for economically evaluating medical device and related products;
  • ‘ Analysis of optimistic headroom;
  • ‘ Realistic headroom and maximum reimbursable price;
  • ‘ The role of the maximum reimbursable price when making price decisions;
  • ‘ The concept of maximum reimbursable price in relation to investment decisions;
  • ‘ An introduction to analyzing clinical trial evidence.

University of Ulster Professor Brian Meenan of the University of Ulster provided a welcome message. He heads the Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering Research Group (BTERG) within the Nanotechnology & Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) at Ulster.

Professor Terry Young educated the group about the MATCH project, as he is credited with winning the research council grant which established this organization in cooperation with the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham. Professor Young also has publications to his name which address healthcare delivery in terms of service, systems and technology, including commercial and investment decisions, uptake and adoption.

Professor Richard Lilford taught on the evaluation of medical technologies, both in terms of devices and pharmaceuticals. Professor Lilford is an expert in a wide range of areas of health related research, from developing clinical trials and research ethics to assessing the cost effectiveness of treatments for health service.

Dr. Amanda Chapman shared her studies in the field of early economic evaluation of medical devices. She undertook this study as part of the MATCH research collaboration. Amanda also works on a number of health technology assessment projects commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care (NICE).

And Mr. Alan Girling taught on the subject of statistical methodology as it relates to health research. He is an expert in the field, having worked as a researcher in statistics and as a professor of mathematics for many years.

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Professor Brian Meenan providing welcome and introductions


Terry Young educating the group about the MATCH project

The MATCH organization is a well-established research collaboration between four leading UK universities (Birmingham, Brunel, Nottingham & Ulster) and a cohort of industrial partners, also supported by stakeholders from the NHS and other public sector organizations. MATCH, funded since 2003 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and partner subscriptions, provides a critical research mass in the field of health technology assessment (HTA) in its widest sense, bringing together expertise in health economics, engineering and social sciences.

M2D2 helps entrepreneurs develop products every step of the way, from proof-of-concept to commercialization. In addition to these services, the Commonwealth, under Governor Patrick’s tenure, provided $4 million for the M2D2 innovation hub we are in today.

M2D2 has assisted more than 100 start-up companies and entrepreneurs sincethe program kicked off in the spring of 2007. M2D2 has helped its companies secure over $20 million in funding. The incubator at the headquarters is nearly full with 14 client companies.