CTSI Support Helped Advance University of Minnesota Start-Up Company

In July 2014, CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT) awarded funding and support through its Translational Grant Program to develop a non-invasive lung pacing device that is intended to reduce the length of time patients must be supported with ventilators. The technology was licensed to a University of Minnesota med-tech start-up company that recently acquired $1.9 million in equity financing.

The ODAT funded project, Acoustic Modulation of the Phrenic Nerve for Treatment of Ventilator Induced Diaphragmatic Dysfunction, was led by PI Arthur Erdman, PhD, College of Science & Engineering, and Director of the Medical Devices Center (MDC). MDC Innovation Fellows Jesus Cabrera and John Ballard led the creation and development of the technology. The Translational Grant award helped support early device development and proof-of-concept studies.

"The funding provided by ODAT and the data generated in the proof-of-concept studies were important factors in the due diligence process of obtaining equity financing," said Sandra Wells, PhD, ODAT Assistant Director. "It’s great to see one of our funded projects reaching this important milestone."

Andarta Medical is one of 16 startups that came out of the University of Minnesota this past year--a record--as reported by Brian Herman, Vice President for Research, in his annual report on the state of University Minnesota research he presented to the Board of Regents December 11, 2015. 

CTSI’s Translational Grant Program helps drive research that translates basic science discoveries into patient benefit, with the overarching goal of improving human health. In addition to funds, awarded projects also receive a project development team with the appropriate expertise to help determine project milestones, identify key gaps, and strengthen the project’s likelihood of advancing toward new therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, or treatment approaches.