RCT Ventures, an early-stage biomedical investment program of Tucson-based Research Corporation Technologies Inc., announced that Fibralign Corporation is the winner of the 2014 MedTech Innovator competition held during the 22nd Annual Medical Device Conference, hosted by law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR). As the first place winner, Fibralign Corporation won prizes valued at $150,000, including $100,000 in cash provided by RCT Ventures, $25,000 in cash provided by Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) and $25,000 worth of state-of-the-art lab space at Janssen Labs. The second place winner, Francis Lamont Innovations (FLI), won a $25,000 cash prize provided by JJDC.
MedTech Innovator is an annual medical device-focused venture competition that allows the audience to choose the winner. The 2014 competition began in April, when 267 companies submitted their business plans. A panel of investor judges reviewed the entries to select the MedTech Innovator Top 10 semi-finalists and Top 4 finalists. The panel of judges included Christopher P. Martin, President, RCT Ventures; Ned Scheetz, Founder & Managing Director, Aphelion Capital; James Dreher, Managing Partner, Option 3; and Brad H. Vale, Ph.D., D.V.M., Head, JJDC. The Master of Ceremonies was Paul Grand, Managing Director, RCT Ventures. The WSGR conference audience voted in real time for the winner, Fibralign, using their mobile devices.
Fibralign’s first product, BioBridge, is developed to address Secondary Lymphedema, a global chronic debilitating disease that affects over 120 million people and has no cure. The Company successfully completed a large animal study that validated BioBridge-treated diseased lymphatic tissue. Fibralign is now preparing for 510(k) submission and a clinical study.
“It was a real honor to be chosen from among our peers as this year’s MedTech Innovator winner,” said Greg King, COO of Fibralign. “This award provides Fibralign needed visibility to better address this significant opportunity. The competition was a fantastic experience, because it put a much-deserved spotlight on great startups selected from around the world. These companies provide a diverse range of breakthrough products that offer creative ways to improve patient care.”
RCT Ventures produced the competition and contributed a $100,000 cash prize for the winner. “I was thrilled to see an innovative company like Fibralign win the 2014 MedTech Innovator competition, which seeks to identify outstanding early-stage MedTech opportunities and help them succeed,” said Grand. “Fibralign was voted the winner by an audience made up of over 600 venture capitalists, corporates, and industry professionals. That kind of exposure and engagement would typically take months or years and has the potential to result in a financing or key industry partnership.”
In addition to RCT’s $100,000 contribution, several of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies contributed $25,000 to Fibralign’s prize, and the second place winner, FLI, also received $25,000. Additionally, Janssen Labs, a life science incubator, is providing entry to the Janssen Labs community for Fibralign for one year, valued at $25,000. “Across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, we take pride in supporting innovators and entrepreneurs in the life science community,” notes Dr. Brad Vale, Head of Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation. “We work with emerging companies to help advance their science and technology into products that change people’s lives.”
In addition to the cash prizes, Fibralign received several prizes designed to give the company broad exposure to investors and industry. The company will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the MedTech Innovation Report. Fibralign will also get a presentation slot and complimentary full access registration to this October’s AdvaMed 2014 conference in Chicago, which is expected to attract more than 2,500 investors and MedTech industry professionals.
For detailed information on Fibralign, FLI and each of the MedTech Innovator Top 10 semi-finalist companies, see http://www.medtechInnovator.com.