Contact
Eric Norman
MIT linQ Communications
enorman@mit.edu

14 international teams developing new biomedical technologies

  • Teams win seven-month innovation training and project mentoring from innovators at MIT and other world-class institutions
  • New technologies for a range of unmet medical needs, including a painless microneedle patch for treating pediatric asthma and novel immuno-oncology therapies for gastrointestinal cancers
  • Reach now even more global than past editions, with teams hailing from Spain, Chile, Israel, and the United States

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, 30 MAY 2019 – MIT linQ, an international biomedical technology innovation consortium based in the Institute for Medical Engineering & Sciences (IMES) at MIT, introduced the 13 teams admitted to IDEA2 Global 2019. The seven-month program provides intensive innovation method training, collaborative project development, team-specific mentoring, and expertise to help projects move from original medtech ideas toward real-world application.

“This year, we are excited to work with a number of institutions across the globe to broaden the impact of our program and the projects in it,” said Mercedes Balcells-Camps, IDEA2 Global Program Chair and a principal research scientist at IMES.

Proposals to IDEA2 Global were invited from anywhere in the world, and recruited in part through partnerships with several organizations dedicated to biomedical technology innovation. Project sponsors include the MIT Innovation Initiative, MIT Hacking Medicine, MassBio, MGH Medical Innovation Program, and Boston Landing.

The projects selected for 2019 included are:

  • A microRNA-based plan to expand cell therapy potential for treating diabetes
  • A wearable device for monitoring sunlight exposure, improving the quality of life for patients suffering from photosensitivity or EPP
  • A painless microneedle patch for treating pediatric asthma
  • A tool to diagnose and monitor neurological abnormalities due to end-stage liver disease
  • A dental-record conversion system used to simplify the process of identifying international disaster victims
  • A tissue-regeneration treatment designed to eliminate osteoarthritis, an improvement over existing therapies that merely reduce pain
  • A specialized rollator that minimizes the risks of falling for Parkinson’s disease patients, those affected by brain injury, and millions of elder people (DARWIN Biomedical)
  • Novel antidepressants targeting astrocytes, regulating brain activity without any measurable side effects
  • An online public-benefit marketplace designed to increase access to essential and life-saving medications (Fiduscript)
  • A wearable respiratory monitor for sports performance tracking and training (N-DURER)
  • A new immuno-oncology treatment for gastrointestinal cancers (ME Therapeutics)
  • Software that uses clinical and financial data to help dentists provide optimal patient care while sustaining their practices (Overjet)
  • An eDNA identification system for large-scale detection and monitoring of threatened or protected species, as well as invasive species, and for monitoring the ecological status of different types of water bodies (aquaticDNA)
  • A new treatment for autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis based on a new molecular target known as BAMBI (BMP and Activin Membrane-Bound Inhibitor)

The teams were selected competitively based on their potential for impact and readiness for additional support. Through group innovation training and individualized mentorship and advising, the teams refine their research and development strategy to heighten the opportunity to healthcare impact.

The teams will meet at MIT in early June for a kickoff workshop to sharpen the focus on the medical need they intend to address and get initial entrepreneurship training. They will then be matched with project mentors and subject and technology experts to help them develop their project over the summer. In October, the teams will meet again in a workshop to refine their project definition. Finally, in December they will gather to present their final medical technology development plans and the impact they intend to make with their innovations.

Team members look forward to the training and guidance they will get to advance their projects. Maria Salazar Roa, who is focused on an innovative miR-based therapy said, “This program will give us the opportunity to present this methodology to potential strategic partners, investors, and subject matter experts, who would definitely help us to estimate our market size and opportunities.”

About IDEA2 Global
IDEA2 Global provides mentoring and connections to biomedical innovators around the world to develop their project ideas and to provide the expertise to realize them. It is especially valuable for trainees, early-stage professionals, and those who have few opportunities in their normal work to participate in innovation projects. More at https://idea2.mitlinq.org/ 

About MIT linQ
MIT linQ is an initiative based at the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) at MIT to develop a new paradigm for biomedical technology innovation. Part of the MIT Innovation Initiative, linQ unifies a portfolio of international innovation programs focused on improving healthcare through need-driven, interdisciplinary research, and training. For more information, visit http://mitlinq.org