CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Miraki Innovation have unveiled BOA Biomedical Inc., a company that aims to solve the global healthcare demand for a device that rapidly diagnoses and treats infectious diseases, focusing specifically on sepsis and antibiotic-resistant infections. BOA is a portfolio company founded by Miraki that plans to commercialize technology developed at the Wyss Institute. Earlier this year, BOA obtained investigational device exemption (IDE) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to allow the device to be used in a first-in-human clinical study to collect safety and effectiveness data. This approval follows BOA's exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Harvard Office of Technology Development.
"In the U.S., every 20 seconds a patient is diagnosed with sepsis and more than $24 billion per year is spent on treating this life-threatening condition – this is the problem that BOA is aiming to solve," said Christopher Velis, Founder and Executive Chairman of Miraki Innovation and BOA Biomedical. "Like all of Miraki's companies, BOA was a mission before it was a company. We hope to eventually expand its use to address situations where quick infection diagnoses and treatments are needed, such as disease outbreaks in remote areas, bioterrorism and military operations."
Sepsis is a major global health issue, with no specific treatment or cure. Quickly identifying the pathogen causing a patient's infection is critical, so that the appropriate drugs can be administered. However, most infections are identified via bacterial culture, which can take days to show results, and broad-spectrum antibiotics are becoming less effective due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Approximately 70% of septic patients are "blood culture negative," meaning that diagnosis can be difficult and physicians may not know which treatment would be most effective. Over 15% of sepsis patients die as a result, and the death rate is as high as 80% for those who progress to septic shock.
Leveraging a novel solution developed at the Wyss Institute by Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D.,Ph.D. and Lead Senior Staff Scientist Michael Super, Ph.D., BOA is creating a medical device that focuses on physically removing pathogens and their toxic, inflammation-triggering debris from the blood to stabilize the patient and mitigate the potential for sepsis without having to first identify the pathogens. BOA has also developed a companion diagnostic device. The technology synergizes with existing antimicrobial treatments, as it can capture the inflammation-causing infectious debris that is created when pathogens are killed by antibiotics, making it a valuable addition to hospital-based treatment.
"This technology has the potential to save millions of lives, and we are optimistic about BOA moving forward to help reach patients who need it," said Ingber, who is also Chairman of BOA's Scientific Advisory Board.
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University:
Lindsay Brownell, [email protected], 617-432-8266
Julie Sculley, [email protected], 617-986-5730
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (http://wyss.harvard.edu) uses Nature's design principles to develop bioinspired materials and devices that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world. Wyss researchers are developing innovative new engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing that are translated into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators, corporate alliances, and formation of new startups. The Wyss Institute creates transformative technological breakthroughs by engaging in high risk research, and crosses disciplinary and institutional barriers, working as an alliance that includes Harvard's Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences and Design, and in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston University, Tufts University, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Zurich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Miraki Innovation (http://miraki.com) is a medtech investment and development firm that identifies technological breakthroughs that have the potential for global impact and builds those ideas into companies. Miraki Innovation is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the U.S. epicenter for medtech research and investment. Miraki builds companies in-house. The firm pinpoints current and future global healthcare demands and challenges, then utilizes its extensive network of academic institutions and government agencies to uncover technologies that will most effectively solve those problems, developing those ideas into innovations that will change and save lives.
Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD) (https://otd.harvard.edu) promotes the public good by fostering innovation and translating new inventions made at Harvard University into useful products that are available and beneficial to society. Our integrated approach to technology development comprises sponsored research and corporate alliances, intellectual property management, and technology commercialization through venture creation and licensing. More than 70 startups have launched to commercialize Harvard technologies in the past 5 years, collectively raising more than $1.5 billion in financing. To further bridge the academic-industry development gap, Harvard OTD manages the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator and the Physical Sciences & Engineering Accelerator.
Nothing in this press release constitutes an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any securities. Any discussion herein of any past results is not an indicator of future performance.
SOURCE Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University