Research News

BIG signs $1.48 million contract with medical device company

By JULIE MOLENDA

Published August 3, 2016

“This public-private partnership is just one example of the breakthroughs and innovations that can be realized in Western New York when you combine universities’ assets with industry.”
Brian McIlroy, executive director
Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics

The Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG) — a UB program and key component of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $100 million initiative to transform New York State into a national center for genomic medicine research — has signed a contract with Garwood Medical Devices LLC (GMD) that will create 40 new jobs in five years.

GMD, a medical device company participating in the START-UP NY program, is developing a new class of programmable electrical stimulation devices with integrated sensor and communications technologies to enable unprecedented treatment for chronic wound healing, bone growth and peri-prosthetic (implant) infections, while simultaneously enhancing quality of life by enabling enhanced patient mobility and decreasing the need for clinician intervention.

As part of the agreement, BIG will provide $1.48 million in technology and resource support to GMD, which has committed to the creation of 40 jobs and a licensed UB intellectual property royalty stream.

Edward Furlani, who holds joint appointments in UB’s departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering, will lead the research and development team, leveraging UB’s comprehensive faculty expertise in device processes, modeling and design, prototype fabrication and characterization, software communications, and high-performance computing and bioinformatics to aid GMD on its commercialization path.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Garwood Medical as the first of many BIG strategic partnerships that will move the institute forward,” says BIG Executive Director Brian McIlroy. “This collaboration expands our faculty and industry engagement to further critical, life-saving research.”

According to a 2008 article titled Human Skin Wounds: A major and snowballing threat to public health and the economy” in the publication Wound Repair and Regeneration, 6.5 million Americans have chronic wounds, with expenses exceeding $25 billion per year. Nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population is diabetic and prone to slow-healing wound infections and ulcers.

“We are very excited to have established a unique relationship with the University at Buffalo, licensing their valuable patented technologies and collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of six UB professors to bring our novel devices to market,” says Wayne D. Bacon, chairman and CEO of GMD. “Together, we seek to save the health care system in the U.S. and abroad a large portion of the staggering cost spent on wound healing and implant infections, while simultaneously greatly reducing patient pain and suffering.”

 “This public-private partnership is just one example of the breakthroughs and innovations that can be realized in Western New York when you combine universities’ assets with industry,” McIlroy adds.

Garwood plans to introduce its technology platform and strategic initiatives at a press conference and investor reception in early September at its new offices in the UB Gateway Building in downtown Buffalo.