M2D2 $200K Challenge names the 2023 contest winner


April 19, 2023

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M2D2 $200K Challenge names the 2023 contest winner

Companies working to eliminate blood clots are awarded the top prize in seeking funding, in-kind support

A Cambridge, Massachusetts startup that aims to prevent strokes was the grand winner in the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) $200K Challenge 2023.

Entrepreneurs from around the world entered the contest, vying for the chance to present their innovations in the final, which was held at UMass Lowell last month before more than 200 people at the M2D2 offices in Lowell’s Hamilton Canal District.

This year’s main winner is Round Bio, a company developing 3D heart implants to help prevent blood clots that can cause strokes in patients with irregular heartbeats who are not suitable for receiving blood-thinning medications. The startup, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive $50,000 in seed funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the event’s main sponsor and founder, along with in-kind support from Asahi Intecc and Prime Path Medtech, going forward. innovation.

“It is an honor to receive first prize in the $200K M2D2 Challenge, which recognizes the work of the Spheric Bio team, and our outstanding advisers and mentors to date. We really enjoyed the challenge and heard about the exciting work from 14 other startups and met people who we know will be critical to the success of our venture going forward,” said Ellen Roche, company founder.

Awarded second place is RevBio, Inc., a startup based at Lowell’s M2D2 that develops biocompatible bone glue. The company will receive an initial $25,000 funding from the center. Given third place is Mediscen, an enterprise developing wearable patches that deliver medication through the skin. This outfit is based in Madrid, Spain.

“Each year, the $200K M2D2 Challenge showcases pioneering innovations poised to reshape the healthcare industry and improve patient experience and outcomes. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is proud to support this effort as we work with our partners to build a responsive and agile medtech ecosystem across the state,” said Kenn Turner, president and CEO of MLSC.

Turner, along with Brian Johnson, president of the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC), provided the event’s keynote address, sharing their insights on the next generation of leaders in medical devices and biotechnology.

A partnership between UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester and UMass Lowell, M2D2 helps medical device and biotech start-ups take their innovations from concept to completion. Now in its 12th year, the annual $200K Challenge forecasts the future of healthcare, featuring new products and technologies developed by the competition’s entrants. Entrants submit their ideas before a jury of experts to win a $200,000 share in sponsored services and seed money to advance their invention.

Contest sponsors include Amgen, Argenta Advisors, Asahi-Intecc, BARDA DRIVe, Hologic, Johnson & Johnson, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, MPR, Mintz, Novo Nordisk and Prime Path MedTech.

M2D2 was launched in 2007 to grow and support the medtech ecosystem.

“M2D2-assisted medical devices and biotechnology benefit from the partnership between UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Lowell, through the co-location of laboratories in Worcester and Lowell and our world-class faculty and researchers who share their expertise to advance companies’ innovations,” said M2D2 co-director Nathaniel Hafer, Ph.D., director of operations at the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UMass Chan, where he is an assistant professor of molecular medicine.

Over the last 16 years, M2D2 has vetted more than 250 medical device and biotech businesses for inclusion in its programs and provided support to more than 100 startups. In total, M2D2 resident companies have secured more than $150 million in external funding for their innovations.

“M2D2 is committed to sourcing globally and advancing the next generation of new healthcare technologies and could not do so without the support of medical device and like-minded biotech leaders. We are grateful for all of the support from companies, foundations and governments, which has allowed us to advance these solutions and, ultimately, have a positive impact on the entire healthcare ecosystem,” said UMass Lowell Executive Director for Innovation Mary Ann Picard.

About M2D2

M2D2, Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, is a joint initiative between the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the UMass system. Its goal is to help new biotechnology and medical device entrepreneurs develop products at every step, from proof of concept to commercialization. Affiliated faculty and staff have assisted more than 100 startups and entrepreneurs since the program began in spring 2007.


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