Start-up medical technology firm among 18 awarded MIPS grants NovoVasc to use $50,000 to study prevention of blood clots during surgery

Maryland researchers

October 08, 1997|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore start-up company that is working on a technology to stop blood clotting on medical devices is one of 18 recipients of Maryland Industrial Partnership grants totaling more than $930,000.

Judith P. Fulton, chief executive officer of NovoVasc LLC, said the company's work could ultimately help prevent dangerous blood clots associated with procedures such as angioplasty and open heart surgery.

She said the company's technology is intended to prevent blood clots wherever blood comes into contact with medical devices, inside and outside the body. When such clots develop in cardiopulmonary bypass machines, they have the potential to damage the brain's higher reasoning functions.

"With all the applications, this technology could reach hundreds of thousands of people a year," Fulton said yesterday.

NovoVasc was founded early this year by four University of Maryland faculty members -- two physicians and two others who hold doctorate degrees, one in organic chemistry and the other in chemistry. The company received a research grant of $50,000 -- the maximum for start-up companies under the MIPS program.

The 10-year-old program, which operates from the University of Maryland Engineering Research Center, provides grants for projects that match company and University of Maryland researchers.

MIPS awards grants twice a year. This cycle is dominated by information science companies, followed by biotechnology companies, then an assortment of others.

"We've always had good proposals," said Lou Robinson, director of MIPS. "But we're getting a much higher percentage of very good proposals."

Among the recipients are Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant, which received a grant of $33,500 to study corrosion control using magnets, and Towson-based Black & Decker Corp., which received $36,300 to work on a design module for drills.

Other Baltimore-area recipients and the approximate amounts of their MIPS grants are Nutramax Laboratories of Baltimore, $64,000; CEMCOM Corp. of Baltimore, $67,000; Sterilex Corp. of Owings Mills, $70,000; DEKU Enterprises Inc. of Baltimore, $50,000, and Pressure Technology Inc. of Hanover, $67,000.

Fulton, the sole employee of NovoVasc, said the grant will help the company do badly needed research. "As all start-ups, we work on a shoestring," she said. "We have the minimum amount of money we need to operate. We want to be a full-fledged medical device company located in Maryland and doing research here, and manufacturing here. The applications we're talking about have potential sales in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars."

Also on the MIPS list are Atlantic Aerospace Electronics Corp., Greenbelt, $70,000; Buford Biomedical, Inc., Poolesville, $50,000; Claragen Inc., College Park, $50,000; Dresser Industries Inc., Salisbury, $8,300; Genex Technologies Inc., Rockville, $50,000; Hughes Network Systems, Germantown, $59,000; JMCA Inc., Silver Spring, $50,000; and K&L Microwave Inc., Salisbury, $47,000.

Pub Date: 10/08/97

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