The 2018 cohort of teams are developing new technologies addressing a range of unmet medical needs, including veterans’ hearing loss, cancer screening, and obesity. Read the news announcement introducing the teams.
Proposals to IDEA² Global were invited from anywhere in the world and are sponsored by several organizations dedicated to biomedical technology innovation. Project sponsors include Fundación para la Innovación y la Prospectiva en Salud en España (FIPSE, a Spain-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing new healthcare technologies), the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), MassBIO, Cantabria Labs (a Spain-based pharmaceutical R&D company), the Medicine Innovation Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and MIT Hacking Medicine.
CDSAMVIR: A new strategy to fight against viral retrotranscription
We propose a disruptive strategy that could represent a definitive solution for HIV treatment. Current AntiRetroviral Therapy for HIV-infected people is an everyday-pill chronic treatment that needs to be continuously evolving to cope with evolution and mutation of the virus. Our approach targets a host cell surface (CD81), unaffected by viral mutation. CD81-blocking peptides have proven to reduce HIV infection of healthy human Tlymphocytes and we are currently raising funds to move to an in vivo proof of concept. This strategy would represent a winning point for the Pharma industry race against HIV viral mutations benefiting patients with resistant forms of HIV or deadly coinfections.
Team: Henar Suarez Montero, Ester García, María Yáñez-Mó, Vera Rocha-Perugini, Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, Antonio Rodríguez Hita, Victor Toribio
Millions of people in the world become blind due to delay in diagnosis of retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, as result of the conventional diagnostic tools limitations. The Open Retinoscope we have developed takes high quality images of the retina with low cost and without the need of expertise, using any smartphone camara. It allows a widely available eye exam, and based on telemedicine, helps avoiding blindness worldwide.
Team: Florencio González Márquez, Luis Castillón Torres, Pablo Hervás Ballesteros, Francisco Javier Hernández Martínez, Luis Luque Romero, José Luis García Garmendia, Gorka Gómez Ciriza, Cristina Suarez Mejías, Tomas Gómez CIA
Identification system for circulating tumor cells (CTCnanoSen)
Currently, only about 10% of cancer patients have their circulating tumor cells (CTCs) detected. We introduce an innovative photo-engineering system for identification of CTCs in order to boost their impact for personalized treatment and to widen their clinical use to every patient with cancer.
Team: Alfredo Franco, Jose Luis Fdez. Luna, Fernando Moreno, Francisco Gonzalez, Santos Merino
10M of endoscopic resections are performed every year in US and EU, being the most effective tool in the prevention of colorectal cancer. Large resections (>20mm in size) are associated with a risk of complications (bleeding and perforation) in the 5% of the cases, because our current closure system with clips is inefficient in large eschars. We develop CoverGel, a patented first-in class biogel for patients undergoing endoscopic resections, capable to shield and to restore the eschars, reducing the incidence of complications from 5% to 1% in preclinical data.
Team: Vicente Lorenzo-Zúñiga García, Ramon Bartoli Solé
“PEPSTOB” (Peptide to stop obesity)
It is known that a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is reduced in obese subjects. We have shown that artificially increasing this protein in mouse models reduces obesity and fatty liver disease, and further, we identified which peptides within the protein are responsible for the protective effects. This may provide a novel and safe therapeutic pathway to treat obesity and fatty liver disease.
Team: David Martinez Selva, Antonio Herce Sesa, Rafael Simo Canonge, Laura Brianso Llort,Lorena Ramos Perez, Lidia Fuertes Rioja
Did you know that there are 2000 girls born without vagina in the U.S. every year? A similar problem also applies to 5000 men with gender dysphoria willing sex re-assignment, and more than 50.000 young women after suffering severe genital mutilation. There are several surgical procedures to reconstruct a vagina when they become teens. However, the surgery is complicated and requires a large skin graft that often fails. Our product overcomes the need for a skin graft, by allowing natural skin to grow just like it happens when we make a piercing, shortening surgical and recovery times, giving comfort to the patients, and resulting in savings for the health system.
Team: Maribel Acien, Pedro Acién, Miguel Sánchez-Lozano, Miguel Ángel Oliva-Meyer, Javier Martínez García, María Prada, Begoña García-Jaén
The Ascites Management App
Ascites, or free fluid in the abdomen, develops in 2/3 of patients with liver cirrhosis and can be painful, cosmetically unappealing, and is associated with a poor prognosis.After a hospital admission for ascites, approximately 40% of patients are readmitted within 3 months due to suboptimal outpatient management, costing hospitals $20,000 per readmission.We are creating a Smartphone application to transmit clinically relevant data from the patient to their liver doctor, to improve outpatient ascites management and reduce readmissions by 1/3.
Team: Patricia Pringle, James Richter, Raymond Chung, Madeleine Marx, Sarah Argyropoulos, Stephanie Rutledge
TNC Translational Neuroscience Center
Treatments that looked promising in animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as epilepsy and autism, have for the most part failed when they reached human clinical trials. One major reason for this failure is that animal brains are limited in their ability to mimic the human brain and that pharmaceutical R&D has traditionally relied on target-based drug screening. As part of the Translational Neuroscience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, we leverage our unique access to patients with neurodevelopmental disorders to provide services for preclinical assays using patient-driven platforms to identify and validate drug targets.
Team: Ivy Cheng, Elizabeth Buttermore, Sameer Dhamne, Sean Dwyer, Denise McGinnins, Meera Modi
Therapeutics by Ellie
1-in-5 Americans currently take at least one psychiatric drug. Despite this prevalence, mental illnesses are fast becoming one of our greatest unmet medical needs. Responding to this disparity, I am launching a Boston University R&D spin-off built around functional neurocircuit tools that stand to transform psychiatric drug discovery.
Project lead: Adam Vogel
20 million individuals globally suffer from intermittent atrial fibrillation (AF), a leading cause of heart failure and stroke, with an estimated 5 million remaining undiagnosed.Current heart monitors monitor patients for short durations, resulting in infrequently occurring symptoms of intermittent AF being missed entirely.We have developed a wrist-worn heart rhythm monitor which is capable of recording a patient’s heart activity continuously for up to 90 days, with the potential to increase the detection rates of intermittent AF from the current 1% to 85% based on supporting literature.
Team: Oisin Mc Grath, Jaffry Syed Kumail, Belén Enguix
Bloomer Health Tech
Did you know that the one in three women who suffer from heart disease globally ALSO suffer from longer hospital stays, higher readmission rates and higher mortality rates than their male counterparts? Bloomer is eliminating gender gaps in healthcare by transforming the everyday, ubiquitous bra into a tool for effortless and personalized, monitoring and treatment of heart disease. Using advanced fabrics technology and machine learning, Bloomer will enable the inclusive and comprehensive development of new digital biomarkers for female-specific disease management & prevention without skipping a woman’s heart beat.
Team: Mónica Abarca, Alicia Chong, Aceil Halaby, Ben Linville-Engler
20% of the US population suffers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and is in need of efficient, individualized tracking of their digestive symptoms to better understand and manage symptom triggers. Today, their best option is to manually track perceived digestive symptoms, which result in subjective, unreliable data and inconclusive understanding of the root causes of symptom triggers. augGI is the day-to-day companion that empowers IBS patients to individually, objectively and reliably track digestive symptoms and proactively manage the impact individual diet, activity, sleep, and mental health have on symptom triggers.
Team: David Hachuel, Akshay Jha, Lea Fayad, Shawn Dimantha, Alfonso Martinez