MDC Wins DARPA Phase II SBIR Contract for Applications of Neuromodulation for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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For Immediate Release

Baltimore MD | September 10, 2019

The Maryland Development Center is pleased to announce that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded MDC a $3,124,992 Phase II SBIR contract for research and development of tools based on neuromodulation for the diagnosis and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). MDC’s Director Engineering and VP, Dr. Stephen Restaino is the Principal Investigator for the project. Dr. Restaino wrote the proposal with Dr. Jeffrey Wolf MD and Dr. Amal Isaiah MD, both ENT surgeons at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Wolf is also a co-founder and partner in MDC. 

The goals of this Phase II project are to further develop and test a wearable ultrasound system for imaging and modulation for the diagnosis and treatment of OSA. In Phase I, MDC created a prototype wearable hardware capable of imaging the airway and detecting obstructions during sleep. During Phase II, MDC will build on the Phase I work to advance the SONOSA device towards a market ready product. In the proposed period of performance, MDC will complete technical development of the device to produce a market ready prototype; we will test safety and performance of the device functions in preclinical and clinical models; engage regulatory agencies to prepare for approval procedures; and have discussions with strategic partners to prepare to manufacture our final design device. 

Bringing SONOSA into the market will require continued development of the technology in four core areas: (1) technical development, (2) testing, (3) regulatory approval, and (4) manufacturing process development. Throughout Phase II, we will conduct parallel development and preclinical evaluation of the imaging and focused ultrasound subsystems. 

“We are delighted with this extraordinary award. My congratulations to Stephen, Jeff, and Amal for the incredible effort and success. This project has the possibility to truly disrupt the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that impacts nearly 1 billion people worldwide.,” said Dr. Gil Blankenship, co-founder and CEO of MDC.

About Maryland Development Center

The Maryland Development Center is a startup studio created to commercialize intellectual property developed in Maryland’s rich research enterprises. Since its founding MDC has explored dozens of technologies, created 7 companies, and filed numerous patents. Maryland has the largest federal research budget in the United States; MDC was created to help realize some of the commercial value of the extraordinary research programs at the State’s great universities and laboratories.

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