In 2012, Department of Radiology Professor Jafar Golzarian, MD, received pilot funding from CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT) to further develop a drug-delivery device for cancer patients that he’d invented with his team at the University of Minnesota. Shortly after, he spun the technology out to EmboMedics -- where he serves as co-founder and chief medical officer -- to continue advancing and commercializing the technology.
The Maple Grove-based medical biotech start-up recently received $4.3 million in funding, bringing its total to $8 million in financing over two years, according to a Twin Cities Business Magazine article.
“It’s exciting to see a start-up co-founded by one of our inaugural grantees attract such significant investments so it can continue developing a very promising medical device,” says Sandra Wells, PhD, Assistant Director of CTSI’s ODAT function. ODAT provides funding, such as through the Translational Grant Program that aided Dr. Golzarian, and support to University researchers with projects in the early stages of translation.
Twin Cities Business quoted EmboMedics’ CEO Omid Souresrafil, who noted the company would use the recent infusion to secure pre-market approval for its technology. The technology uses embolization to treat certain types of cancer, as the article describes:
EmboMedics [...] is developing bioresorbable embolic microspheres, a technology that can be used to deliver drugs to tumor sites and block off blood flow. The biodegradable hollow beads are designed for use in coordination with chemotherapy treatment on uterine fibroid tumors, liver cancer and men’s prostates.
“Tapping into the early-translational support through CTSI helped me further develop this device, which has the potential to help cancer patients around the world."
EmboMedics’ device is the second CTSI-funded technology in the past few months that went on to attract more than a million dollars in investments. In late 2015, a CTSI-supported technology was licensed to Andarta, a University of Minnesota med-tech start-up company that had recently acquired $1.9 million in equity financing.
“These projects’ journeys exemplify the path we work to pave for our grant recipients,” says Dr. Wells. “We’re committed to helping our grantees take some of their critical first steps on the translational pathway, so they can continue advancing their discoveries toward real-life application, even years after receiving CTSI funding.”
View a list of recent University start-ups compiled by the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Photo credit: University of Minnesota Health