For Immediate Release
Baltimore MD | January 15, 2020
The Maryland Development Center is pleased to announce that its client company, NeuroSonics Medical, Inc. has won a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Science Foundation. NeuroSonics was founded in 2019 by Dr. Nao Gamo, PhD and Professor Amir Manbachi, PhD of Johns Hopkins University. Professor Manbachi is co-inventor of the Company’s product, a tool for minimally invasive ablation of brain tumors using focused ultrasound.
NeuroSonics is developing a novel, patented high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) device that will provide a minimally invasive alternative to cranial flap resections to remove large and complex brain tumors, including cases considered inoperable with current surgical techniques. Cranial flap resections for larger tumors involve removing a large portion of the skull, with increased risk of uncontrolled bleeding and infections and prolonged post-operative recovery. Reducing invasiveness with a smaller incision would mitigate these risks, which is especially important when removing tumors that are deep in the brain.
Using funding from the TEDCO Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) , the NeuroSonics Team, including Dr. Stephen Restaino, MDC VP and Direcror of Engineering, built and tested a prototype in 2018, which confirmed the function of the technology. Following this successful test, NeuroSonics was formed by Dr. Gamo and Professor Manbachi and is now a client company of MDC.
The $225,000 NSF STTR award will enable the team to refine and test the technology in animal and cadaveric models.
Prior to receiving the NSF STTR award, the NeuroSonics team, including Dr. Restaino and Dr. Gil Blankenship, enrolled in a seven week NSF I-Corps Program. The NSF program focused on customer discovery. The NeuroSonics team interviewed over 130 individuals, including neurosurgeons, hospital purchasing department heads, and others that helped the Company shape both the design and function of its technology and its business model.
“We are delighted by the success of NeuroSonics and want to congratulate Nao and Amir in winning this important award, which both funds the company and develops our partnership with Johns Hopkins University. ” 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 9 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.