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News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

CTCs are promising biomarkers for detection and diagnosis of systemic cancers. CTCs could potentially help physicians and scientists plot the molecular signature of an individual's tumor over time, monitor tumor responsiveness to therapy, and identify targets for the development of personalized therapies. To date, the infrequent detection of CTCs has hindered clinical implementation and potential use in liquid biopsies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.1 Terumo BCT's Spectra Optia® Apheresis System, an FDA-cleared and CE marked device for use in therapeutic apheresis and cell collection procedures, is currently used in hospitals and apheresis centers around the world. Spectra Optia will be incorporated into CANCER-ID research efforts that will evaluate diagnostic leukapheresis (DLA) as a means to capture and harvest larger numbers of CTCs1. This research may identify a role for the Spectra Optia system in future diagnostic processes. Terumo BCT is pleased to partner with CANCER-ID, furthering the consortium's mission of developing standards and conducting clinical validation to enable broad adoption of reliable molecular analyses from liquid biopsies. "We are delighted to be included in CANCER-ID as an industry partner and to provide the Spectra Optia system as a potential new tool for physicians as they seek to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a partner to the consortium, we further our commitment to research and innovation that advances personalized medicine with a specific focus on immuno-oncology," says Monte Smith, Vice President, Global Therapeutic Systems, Terumo BCT. According to Dr. Thomas Schlange, Senior Biomarker Scientist, Global Biomarker Research, Bayer Pharma AG, "CANCER-ID is an excellent example of a public-private partnership enabling collaborative research to develop modern cancer therapy. This consortium brings together an international team of global biomarker experts that extends far beyond the scope of traditional 'one-on-one' industry-academia collaborations." CANCER-ID's initial evaluation phase will be followed by a clinical phase, running until 2020, with a goal to establish the use of liquid biopsies in evaluating the progress of lung and breast cancer treatments. Disclaimer: This press release reflects the author's view and that neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. About Terumo BCT Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers. About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)            This CANCER-ID project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115749. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA. IMI is working to improve health by accelerating the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organizations and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects 'in kind', for example by donating their researchers' time or providing access to research facilities or resources. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/terumo-bct-joins-cancer-id-consortium-300462885.html


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, today announced it has joined CANCER-ID, a public-private European consortium working to establish standard protocols and clinical validation for blood-based biomarkers of cancer. CANCER-ID is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), bringing together 38 partners from 13 countries. Cancer treatment is often hampered by late diagnosis, lack of prognostic indicators, and limited ability to monitor and personalize treatment. The goal of the consortium is to establish the clinical utility of liquid biopsies which are non-invasive blood tests that detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and fragments of tumor DNA that are shed into the blood from the primary tumor or metastatic sites. CTCs are promising biomarkers for detection and diagnosis of systemic cancers. CTCs could potentially help physicians and scientists plot the molecular signature of an individual's tumor over time, monitor tumor responsiveness to therapy, and identify targets for the development of personalized therapies. To date, the infrequent detection of CTCs has hindered clinical implementation and potential use in liquid biopsies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.1 Terumo BCT's Spectra Optia® Apheresis System, an FDA-cleared and CE marked device for use in therapeutic apheresis and cell collection procedures, is currently used in hospitals and apheresis centers around the world. Spectra Optia will be incorporated into CANCER-ID research efforts that will evaluate diagnostic leukapheresis (DLA) as a means to capture and harvest larger numbers of CTCs1. This research may identify a role for the Spectra Optia system in future diagnostic processes. Terumo BCT is pleased to partner with CANCER-ID, furthering the consortium's mission of developing standards and conducting clinical validation to enable broad adoption of reliable molecular analyses from liquid biopsies. "We are delighted to be included in CANCER-ID as an industry partner and to provide the Spectra Optia system as a potential new tool for physicians as they seek to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a partner to the consortium, we further our commitment to research and innovation that advances personalized medicine with a specific focus on immuno-oncology," says Monte Smith, Vice President, Global Therapeutic Systems, Terumo BCT. According to Dr. Thomas Schlange, Senior Biomarker Scientist, Global Biomarker Research, Bayer Pharma AG, "CANCER-ID is an excellent example of a public-private partnership enabling collaborative research to develop modern cancer therapy. This consortium brings together an international team of global biomarker experts that extends far beyond the scope of traditional 'one-on-one' industry-academia collaborations." CANCER-ID's initial evaluation phase will be followed by a clinical phase, running until 2020, with a goal to establish the use of liquid biopsies in evaluating the progress of lung and breast cancer treatments. Disclaimer: This press release reflects the author's view and that neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. About Terumo BCT Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers. About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)            This CANCER-ID project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115749. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA. IMI is working to improve health by accelerating the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organizations and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects 'in kind', for example by donating their researchers' time or providing access to research facilities or resources.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Cancer treatment is often hampered by late diagnosis, lack of prognostic indicators, and limited ability to monitor and personalize treatment. The goal of the consortium is to establish the clinical utility of liquid biopsies which are non-invasive blood tests that detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and fragments of tumor DNA that are shed into the blood from the primary tumor or metastatic sites. CTCs are promising biomarkers for detection and diagnosis of systemic cancers. CTCs could potentially help physicians and scientists plot the molecular signature of an individual's tumor over time, monitor tumor responsiveness to therapy, and identify targets for the development of personalized therapies. To date, the infrequent detection of CTCs has hindered clinical implementation and potential use in liquid biopsies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.1 Terumo BCT's Spectra Optia® Apheresis System, an FDA-cleared and CE marked device for use in therapeutic apheresis and cell collection procedures, is currently used in hospitals and apheresis centers around the world. Spectra Optia will be incorporated into CANCER-ID research efforts that will evaluate diagnostic leukapheresis (DLA) as a means to capture and harvest larger numbers of CTCs1. This research may identify a role for the Spectra Optia system in future diagnostic processes. Terumo BCT is pleased to partner with CANCER-ID, furthering the consortium's mission of developing standards and conducting clinical validation to enable broad adoption of reliable molecular analyses from liquid biopsies. "We are delighted to be included in CANCER-ID as an industry partner and to provide the Spectra Optia system as a potential new tool for physicians as they seek to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a partner to the consortium, we further our commitment to research and innovation that advances personalized medicine with a specific focus on immuno-oncology," says Monte Smith, Vice President, Global Therapeutic Systems, Terumo BCT. According to Dr. Thomas Schlange, Senior Biomarker Scientist, Global Biomarker Research, Bayer Pharma AG, "CANCER-ID is an excellent example of a public-private partnership enabling collaborative research to develop modern cancer therapy. This consortium brings together an international team of global biomarker experts that extends far beyond the scope of traditional 'one-on-one' industry-academia collaborations." CANCER-ID's initial evaluation phase will be followed by a clinical phase, running until 2020, with a goal to establish the use of liquid biopsies in evaluating the progress of lung and breast cancer treatments. Disclaimer: This press release reflects the author's view and that neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. About Terumo BCT Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers. About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)            This CANCER-ID project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115749. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA. IMI is working to improve health by accelerating the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organizations and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects 'in kind', for example by donating their researchers' time or providing access to research facilities or resources.


Therapeutic Systems Research Laboratories (TSRL), Inc., announced today that the company was awarded a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Cano M.,Therapeutic Systems | De La Cueva-Mendez G.,Therapeutic Systems
Chemical Communications | Year: 2015

The fabrication of colloidal nanocomposites would benefit from controlled hetero-assembly of ready-made particles through covalent bonding. Here we used epoxy-amine coupling chemistry to promote the self-assembly of superparamagnetic raspberry-like nanocomposites. This adaptable method induced the covalent attachment of iron oxide nanoparticles sparsely coated with amine groups onto epoxylated silica cores in the absence of other reactants. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.


Patent
Therapeutic Systems | Date: 2011-01-26

Non-reusable, medicament-dispensing applicator electrodes (10) adapted for use with an iontophoresis device or an ionosonic device for facilitating delivery of medication across the cutaneous membrane into adjacent underlying tissues, and blood vessels. The embodiments of the iontophoresis electrode include an open mesh (12) having cells (12a) in the medicament dispensing portions (11) of the electrode which retain a medicament in the form of liquid, gel or ointment. The cells are adapted to contain, to iontophoretically dispense, and deliver medicament. The medicament-dispensing electrodes (70) are composite or unitary in construction and may be useful in the treatment of acne, and also genital herpes simplex infection. The delivery electrode (71), when used in accordance with the medicated electrode, and method described herein, demonstrated >90% treatment efficacy in clinical trials for the treatment of genital herpes. The applicator electrode may also be used with an ionosonic handpiece (40).


Patent
Therapeutic Systems | Date: 2011-01-26

An electrokinetic delivery or diagnostic device (10) for self-administration of a medicament. The device includes a housing (12) containing a power supply (14), a first active electrode (24) and a ground tactile electrode (30). An applicator (40) includes a pad (44) for containing medicament for overlying the first electrode (24) of the device (10). The medicament may be applied by the user to the pad (44), contained within the pad (44) or contained in rupturable capsules (56) within the pad (44), together with a hydrogel if necessary for imparting electrical conductivity. In another form, the applicator (70) is self-contained, having a power supply (74), a first electrode (78) overlying a pad (44a) and a ground electrode (80) from the opposite side of the pad (44a) whereby an individual presses the pad (44a) against the treatment site to complete the electrical circuit and electrokinetically drive the medicament into the treatment site.


News Article | October 10, 2011
Site: thenextweb.com

At the forefront of excellence and prestige in Boston, Mass’s booming business center is the non-profit, MassChallenge, which bills itself as “the world’s largest startup competition”. We first covered MassChallenge last month, drawing attention to the fact that it’s both an independent non-profit and does not take equity. MassChallenge founder and CEO John Harthorne says the concept of MassChallenge was born in December 2008 when the world was in a deep, deep hole. While most were talking about the next Great Depression, Harthorne, a Senior Consultant at Bain & Co. had a Eureka! moment. For spots in the current accelerator’s 2nd program, which started on June 27th, 2011 and runs through the end of September, MassChallenge chose 125 teams out of 733 applications. We recently wrote about 10 of the 125 startups here and today, MassChallenge has officially chosen the 26 finalists of its 125 incubated companies, which will compete for $1 million in prizes. You’ll notice we chose more than a few that made the official list. Meet the 26 startups here that range from breast cancer diagnostics tools to mosaic making robots. Alkeus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on ophthalmic conditions with limited treatment options. Its most advanced therapeutic program is based on new compounds that mainly target dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) and Stargardt’s disease, the two leading causes of blindness in patients over 50 (AMD) and in teenagers (Stargardt). These compounds have shown significant promise by reducing the accumulation of toxic pigments in the eye which resulted in preserved vision in different mouse models. Therapeutic Systems was found in 2008 by Brian Mullen PhD while he was a graduate student researching the design and efficacy of sensory based interventions. The company designs, develops, and produces anthropocentric medical devices for individuals with autism, ADHD, and anxiety based disorders. The company aims to improve quality of life and quality of care through deep-pressure based solutions designed to facilitate participation and increase independence. The use of Deep Pressure has been observed to relieve anxiety, reduce self-injurious behavior, and increase focus for some individuals on the autism spectrum. Her Campus is the largest online magazine for college women with branches at 175+ colleges across the country. Her Campus supplements national content with local content covering style, health, love, life, and career, produced entirely by top student journalists. For anyone wanting to start their own online magazine, Her Campus is the perfect platform to check out. Her Campus also serves as a marketing platform connecting companies with college students across the country via integrated online and offline programs. Her Campus was founded by 3 female Harvard grads–Windsor Hanger, Stephanie Kaplan, Annie Wang each named to Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Coolest Young Entrepreneurs. They have about 17 employees total. SocMetrics, Inc. was started by serial entrepreneurs Rebecca Xiong, Jason Toy, and Roy Rodenstein to help agencies and brands identify and engage topical influencers and turn them into advocates. Check out this list for customer use cases here. Cocomama Foods is an all natural and gluten-free food company. Its first product line—Quinoa Cereal—launched in March 2011. “It’s like oatmeal (except with more protein and all nine essential amino acids). And it’s like new (except that it’s made with a 5,000 year-old ancient grain).” I am personally a huge proponent of quinoa. Go Cocomama. Did you know that a woman’s shoe size can grow a full size larger during pregnancy? While I plan on walking around barefoot for 9 months, not all women are such hippies. Casa Couture, a New York City based retail team will launch its first “expandable” maternity shoe into the market with patented in-sole technology that expands and lengthens the shoe up to two full sizes without ever having to take them off. The company is initially targeting maternity, but will also target children’s retail in the future saving parents from having to replace their kid’s shoes every 2 to 3 months. Founder Claudia Espinola says the team’s passion and inspiration has always come from promoting the health, comfort and confidence of all women. For the past three years, Casa Couture has worked its shoe technology, and will unveil both a maternity shoe and a children’s shoe later this fall. The Pintley Company is a social network for beer enthusiasts. The company focuses on the individual tastes of its users and bases its personalized beer recommendations on an intimate knowledge of over 19,000 beers and an analysis of more than 1,000,000 ratings and taste notes. Its recommendations help users find beers they’ll love based on their own personal preferences. Watch this video below for more information: Artaic creates custom tile mosaics using robotic manufacturing and computer aided design systems. Artaic aims to revolutionize the design and fabrication of the ancient mosaic art form through ‘mass customization’. While traditional mosaic building is an exacting, time-consuming process, Artaic’s patent-pending robotic precision manufacturing and computer aided design systems drive the production of large-scale and high volume mosaics with speed, ease, flexibility and value. Much as custom print technology revolutionized the carpet industry 30 years ago, Artaic now plans to revolutionize the $76 billion global tile industry. Check out this custom backlit mosaic below and watch this video to see it in action. Driveway is a smartphone application and service uniting better, more conscious drivers in a social community. Using Driveway’s “secret sauce” embedded into its mobile app, drivers will see how their driving style impacts fuel economy and auto-insurance rates. Download the Android app here, or sign up to be notified when iOS becomes available. PK Clean is able to transform plastic into oil. And since plastic waste represents an untapped $13 billion annual oil market founder Priyanka Bakaya has his work cut out for him. PK Clean will slash our metal recycling customers waste fees from $50/ton to $10/ton, saving millions. Simultaneously, it will sell the renewable fuel to refineries. PK Clean has 100% ownership over its IP and already has a 20 ton/day pilot running. We first wrote about The Tap Lab‘s Tap City game, which turns your checkins into a real life turf war. Pulling in data on 15 million venues from Fourquare, Tap City is, as CEO Dave Bisceglia puts it, ” the first massively multiplayer building game that’s built on the real world. You’re building and defending a city that is based on the places that you go in real life.” The Tap Lab also just went through the TechStars’ Boston program. Our Editor Brad McCarty writes, “The Tap Lab is the brain child of three students from Boston University. It started as an alpha project with 100 users, but the following explosion of interest told the guys that they needed to run with the product. They traveled to PAX East in order to find a graphic designer. They succeeded and, after a round of funding the team plans on bringing everyone into the same office to work together.” TapCity is available right now, for free, from the App Store on iOS. ArtVenue is co-founded by Dan Vidal (formerly at BzzAgent), Casey Rankin and Jesse Rankin (both co-founders of daily-deal aggregator, DealGator). The company empowers local artists by connecting them with venues and art enthusiasts who will hopefully buy or showcase their work. “It’s similar to an online dating service,” explained Vidal in an interview with BostInnovation. “When art lovers at a show see a work they want, they can buy it instantly with their smart phone using the QR code or URL on its placard.” ArtVenue is also a member of the Dogpatch Labs community. Here’s a screenshot of what an artist’s sell page looks like: We first covered Privy in our Best of Boston Startups list. Privy is a disruptive, simple and pretty way for businesses to create, launch and redeem deals and gift certificates right from their own site. The easy to use platform was created by Bostonian Ben Jabbawy after receiving complaints from merchants about existing players in the daily deals space. For example, merchants were peeved that sites like Groupon wouldn’t give them access to the subscription lists of the new customers the deals brought in. After a one time installation, the merchant has their own dashboard within Privy and never has to mess with the code again. Once it’s up and running, merchants can create deals and change them. Privy is saving merchants $20,000-30,000 in what it would cost to hire web developers, manage credit cards on their websites and is giving the consumer the ability to redeem the deals in-store using their mobile, plus added analytics. Drync LLC builds mobile lifestyle applications that make researching and remembering specialty products easier. Drync’s first product, “Drync-Wine” is an iPhone app that simplifies the way people research, remember, share and purchase wine using their phone. EverTrue is leveraging the social web to help alumni associations and other non-profit organizations raise donations. We wrote about EverTrue this past June. In an interview with EverTrue CEO Brent Grinna, our TNW Editor Brad McCarty writes, “The EverTrue software is solving the issue by leveraging information from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Zillow and others. By entering a minimum of personal information, the software goes to work cross referencing the information, indexing it all into an overall score to show how viable a contact is as a charity contact.” EverTrue has just been chosen as a LinkedIn preferred API partner and was part of the TechStars Boston class this summer. Resolute Marine Energy is developing technologies that produce clean energy from ocean waves. Since its founding in 2007, it has received research and development funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Interior Minerals Management Service to build and test several wave energy converter (WEC) prototypes. The company’s initial goal is to build and sell smaller-scale, wave-driven power solutions (1-10kW) utilized in commercial applications including open-ocean aquaculture, seawater desalination and ocean observation systems. Other finalists include Circumventive, a new security technology company; Invup, a web platform that makes philanthropy and involvement easy, fun and gratifying; ARO Medical, LLC, a spinal implant company reducing back pain in patients undergoing their first surgery and reducing the $3 billion associated with failed surgeries; Lynx Sportswear, a sports bra company; BIOARRAY Therapeutics, diagnostics for better breast cancer treatment; Tinfoil Security, a security as a service platform; Finalta, a company building elegant software for institutional asset manager; Sanergy builds sustainable sanitation in urban slums; ÜberSense, an app for coaches and athletes; and SmarterShade (Lono, LLC), an emerging clean technology that darkens windows at the flip of a switch. The Final Judges are able to award up to $1 million in amounts of either $50K or $100K each. Judges include Josh Boger, Founder and former CEO/Chair, Vertex Pharmaceuticals; David Friend Chairman and CEO, Carbonite; Scott Griffith CEO, Zipcar; Jamie Kiggen Senior MD, Blackstone Group; Jeff Taylor Founder, Monster.com; and Dr. Sophie Vandebroek CTO and President of Innovation Group, Xerox. The 2011 MassChallenge Final Ceremony will be held on Monday, October 24 starting at 6 pm at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston’s Innovation District.


MassChallenge Matures: Breaking Down the Final 26 Startups & Their Accelerator Experience [Updated 10/14/11. See below] And then there were 26. Startup teams competing for $1 million in cash prizes, that is. Welcome to the final stage of MassChallenge 2011. MassChallenge, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a Boston-based startup accelerator program now in its second year. It may very well be the world’s largest incubator of its kind. The nonprofit program and business competition kicked off in May with an announcement of the 125 finalist teams (out of 700-plus entrants). After a three-month mentorship program, it is now down to 26 teams who are giving their final pitches this week. The whole competition culminates in an awards ceremony on October 24. The goal of MassChallenge is to spur Boston-area innovation by attracting entrepreneurs and connecting them with peers, mentors, funding, and other resources. It’s one of several big efforts to rally the local startup community and make it more competitive as an innovation hub. “We are on the verge of a renaissance,” MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne told me earlier this year. If this year’s crop of finalists is any indication, the program has become more effective at engaging founders, connecting them with mentors, structuring their mentorship, and generally managing and communicating the logistics of such a huge (and hugely ambitious) program. Startup founders I talked to in recent weeks said the program was “really well organized” and that there was “nice camaraderie” amongst the teams. That seems to have helped them with the difficult work of early-stage company building. “Technically I’m pretty strong, but I’ve never run a startup before,” says Bruce Robie, the founder and CEO of ARO Medical, one of the final 26 teams, based in North Andover, MA. ARO has developed an implantable device to help stabilize the spine of back-surgery patients. Robie credits MassChallenge with improving his pitching skills and introducing him to key advisors. “Working with our mentors was a really positive thing,” he says, and “each brought a different perspective”—whether it was how to talk with potential partners or how to brand the product. “I’m an engineer by training, so my ability to name stuff is not going to set the world on fire,” he says. Roy Rodenstein, the co-founder of Cambridge, MA-based SocMetrics, another finalist, says, “I’ve been very impressed this year. Last year was pretty good, but it was the first year. It’s progressing well as far as the level of support.” Rodenstein, who served as a mentor in the 2010 program, adds that “the quality of companies is up a bit,” similar to the recent trend for other incubators like Y Combinator and TechStars. Several other finalist teams say the program helped provide the foundation and … Next Page »

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