April 18, 2017
Upcoming Events :
Biomedical Innovation Office Hours

CLICK HERE for locations and to schedule an appointment.

Students, faculty, and other U-M innovators get quick and easy advice for a wide range of issues, including startups, early tech development, strategizing business plans, intellectual property, and other entrepreneurial concerns. Office hours are hosted in collaboration with the Zell Lurie Institute and the U-M Office of Tech Transfer
Biomedical Innovation Cup 2017

May 17, 2017
Marriott Eagle Crest,
Auditorium 2
1275 South Huron Street
Biomedical researchers and potential investors can attend this annual event, hosted by Paul Riser from TechTown Detroit, that helps prepare a select group of MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub teams for launch to market. The teams will take the stage to pitch their innovations to the "sharks" of the investment world at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. CLICK HERE to RSVP.
Upcoming Funding Opportunities

Mi-Kickstart Proposals Due May 1
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is accepting proposals for the Mi-Kickstart early-stage funding program

Mi-Kickstart Awards, made possible by the  Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, the  William Davidson Foundation, and the  Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, enable biomedical researchers across the state to develop proof of concept for innovative technologies. This award is aimed to enhance the commercial potential of a technology to the point of translation and possible inclusion in  Mi-TRAC or other research funding programs.

CLICK HERE to access the RFP.

If you have questions, please contact MTRAC for Life Sciences Tech Mining Specialist Michelle Larkin at  michcote@umich.edu.

U-M Center for the Discovery of New Medicines Drug Discovery Funding Announcement
The Center for the Discovery of New Medicines (CDNM) provides grant awards of up to $50,000 each for drug discovery research in all therapeutic areas twice per year. Preference is given to studies on novel drug targets with a clear medical need and commercial viability. The expectation is that the awarded funds will be used in the following CDNM-associated core laboratories to accelerate the discovery process:
Proposals must be submitted by close of business (ET) Friday, May 5, 2017. Core budgets must be finalized and approved by each core in which funds are requested for use by close of business (ET), Friday, April 21, 2017 (two weeks prior to submission deadline). 

Please email Ashley Schork at  ashlscho@umich.edu with questions. Visit  CDNM's website for additional information and to  submit your proposal.
Nominations for the Dean's Awards Program Innovation and Commercialization Award Due
May 1 

The Medical School Dean's Office is soliciting nominations for the Innovation and Commercialization Award. This award recognizes a faculty member or group of faculty members who have developed a new research method, technology, or innovative service that will radically improve or transform patient health. The work of the researcher(s) should exemplify the process of accelerating ideas, insights, and technologies from the research enterprise out of the university setting via industry partnerships, start-up companies, or other commercial routes. This award carries a $5,000 discretionary academic support price that will be given to the faculty member or shared by a group.

The two-stage selection process begins with nominations being submitted to the selection committee for review. CLICK HERE for more information and to access the nomination form. 
6th Cohort of FFMI fastPACE Course Wraps Up
Biomedical Commercialization Course Awards Winning Team

On Friday, April 7, Fast Forward Medical Innovation ended the sixth cohort of the FFMI fastPACE Course with a competition in which teams pitched their projects to the class and a panel of judges. Thirteen project teams graduated from the 4-week program that is designed to provide the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the initial process of innovation and commercialization. Congratulations to the winning project teams!

Health IT Track Winner:
Lauren Hamel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication and Behavioral Oncology
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute
Tool to increase patient-physician interaction around treatment costs for cancer

Medical Device Track Winner:
Michelle Carney, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine; Assistant Professor, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship
University of Michigan
Positioning device for neonatal lumbar puncture

Therapeutics/Diagnostic Track Winner:
Erika Martinez-Nieves, M.S., Research Technician, Emergency Medicine
University of Michigan
Ultra-sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection system to diagnose and treat bacterial infections

Most Customer Discovery Interviews Winners:
Lauren Hamel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication and Behavioral Oncology
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute
Tool to increase patient-physician interaction around treatment costs for cancer

Roberto Miguez, M.S., Database Analyst, Neurology Department
University of Michigan
Software platform for biological imaging to capture and process large amounts of data quickly

During the course, teams worked with experienced mentors to share and review projects, provide constructive feedback, and offer peer support. In addition, FFMI can partner teams with medical students who are part of the recently launched Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence and eager to assist in project development and expand their exposure to up-and-coming innovations. 

Over the last two years, FFMI fastPACE has educated more than 225 faculty, graduate, and medical students, as well as helped more than 90 biomedical innovations from the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Tech, Grand Valley State University, the University of Montana, and the University of Indiana attract follow-on funding and additional resources.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the FFMI fastPACE Course, or email Jon Servoss
FFMI fullPACE Course Finishes With Project Presentations
12-week course uses experiential learning to produce de-risked ideas

The  FFMI fullPACE course, a 12-week biomedical innovation and commercialization course for medical house staff and graduate students, concluded this week with final presentations from the 18 participants and 5 project teams.  Participating departments for this year's course included Surgery, Ob/Gyn, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Pediatrics, Otolaryngology, Cell & Developmental Biology, and Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics.   

The groundbreaking FFMI fullPACE course, developed in partnership with the  U-M College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship, is designed for medical residents and fellows at the University of Michigan. Multidisciplinary teams receive hands-on learning in product development under the guidance of commercialization experts from across campus and industry. Course topics include customer segments, value propositions, ecosystem maps, intellectual property, pitch presentations, and more.

At the end of the course, the participants' sponsoring departments are provided with de-risked ideas that have the potential to mature into viable biomedical innovations.

For more details, email  Margarita Sifuentes or check out our  website.
Groundbreaking Train the Trainer Program Spreads Commercialization Education to Biomedical Innovators Across the Country 
U-M's Fast Forward Medical Innovation equips partner academic institutions with proven tools to offer innovation programs to busy clinician-researchers

Seasoned entrepreneurs understand that the road to commercialization can take months of effort, thousands of starts and stops. But, if you're a busy clinician or researcher juggling work in the lab and patient visits, where do you find the time and resources to learn the ins and outs of getting a new drug or device to  market where it can have a positive impact on human health? CLICK HERE to read the full article. 
May 17 FFMI Biomedical Innovation Cup 
Shark Tank-style competition highlights MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub-funded research

Join Fast Forward Medical Innovation as a select group of
Mi-TRAC teams pitch their innovations to the "sharks" of the investment world at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium.  

Wednesday, May 17
Marriott Eagle Crest
Auditorium 2
1275 South Huron Street

CLICK HERE to RSVP for this FREE event.

The path to market for a new biological product is challenging. It's not enough to have a deep knowledge of the science, innovators must be ready to step into the spotlight, showing stakeholders and potential investors clarity of vision and passion.

Hosted by Paul Riser, M.B.A., Managing Director, TechTown Detroit, this annual event helps prepare a select group for MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub teams for launch to market. 

This year's pitches...

ECM Technologies
Electrocardiomatrix (ECM): A New Method for Detection of Cardiac Arrhythmias

EVOQ Therapeutics
A Novel Nano-Vaccine Technology for Cancer Immunotherapy

FibrosIX LLC
Development of a Highly Potent Inhibitor of the Rho/MRTF/SRF Pathway As A Novel Oral Therapeutic for Scleroderma

MedigenixBio Inc. 
Preclinical Data Package for a Small Molecule Inhibitor of PAI-1

CellScope Retina: The easy, wide-field retinal imaging system
Providing Early Detection of a Leading Cause of Blindness

And our judges...

On the Road with FFMI

The MTRAC team took to the highway this week to present FFMI and the statewide MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub funding program to innovators from institutions across Michigan. 

Michelle Larkin, MSE, Tech Mining Specialist, attended the pitch competition at the MedTech+ Innovation Workshop Weekend at Oakland University, hosted by Amy Butler, Executive Director of OU Inc and Neil Sheridan, President of SVPI. The workshop was focused on developing each project's business model canvas and preparing the 3-minute elevator pitch. The weekend graduated 11 project teams from the surrounding area, 7 of which were in the life sciences sector.

Michelle and Brad Martin, Ph.D., MTRAC for Life Sciences Commercialization Program Director, visited the WMed Innovation Center, led by Sandra Cochrane, where Michelle was one of 5 panelists, including Denise Graves from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, speaking on university-based resources available to academic innovators and start-ups within the State of Michigan. The panel drew participants from client companies at the WMed Innovation Center, as well as faculty from the WMU campus. While on campus, Michelle and Brad also met with Clark Bennett, Director of Technology and Innovation Advancement for WMU, and visited WMU main campus to meet with a research faculty member developing a novel oncology therapeutic.

Brad traveled to Michigan State University to attend their annual Innovation Celebration, a networking event to showcase MSU technologies and startups from both faculty and students. Of the several technologies on display, three were in the life sciences sector.
Latest News from Project Teams Who Received FFMI Funding, Training, and Support

Latest Mi-Kickstart awardees
FFMI recently announced the latest awardees for its Mi-Kickstart early-stage funding program. Mi-Kickstart Awards, made possible by the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, the William Davidson Foundation, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, enable biomedical researchers across the state to develop proof of concept for innovative technologies. This award is aimed to enhance the commercial potential of a technology to the point of translation and possible inclusion in Mi-TRAC or other research funding programs. 

The new Mi-Kickstart teams are:
John Anagli, Ph.D.
Henry Ford Health System
"Selective Calpain Inhibitor-based Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury"

James Geiger, M.D.
University of Michigan
"Home Ventilator - Continuous CO2 Monitoring"

Cyrus Piraka, M.D.
Henry Ford Health System
"Novel Device for Polyp Removal in the GI Tract"

Funding awardees finish FFMI fastPACE 
Mi-Kickstart awardees John Anagli, Ph.D., Henry Ford Health System, and Michele Carney, M.D., University of Michigan, along with 2016 U-M Fast Forward GI Innovation Fund awardees Shail Govani, M.D., University of Michigan, and Akbar Waljee, M.D., University of Michigan, all completed the 6th cohort of FFMI fastPACE .

Article highlights Mi-TRAC team funding
Mi-TRAC award winners James Moon, Ph.D and Anna Schwendeman, Ph.D., received funding for their project from the Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery. CLICK HERE to read the article.

Path of Excellence student wins competition
Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence student, Michael Moore, received $25,000 from the VentureWell Entrepreneur Team (E-Team) program to develop the prototype and perform validation testing for his project Soft Lesion Analytics - an automated technique of analyzing individual cells in a soft tissue biopsy to streamline the cancer diagnostic process and bring the techniques of the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside.

The E-Team program is broken into two stages. During the first stage, eight early-stage startups were selected from hundreds of applicants to each win $5,000 and a trip to MIT for a 3-day boot camp. In the second stage (only stage one winners are allowed to enter), 6 teams were selected from 30 applicants to each win $20,000 in funding and another trip to MIT for a deeper dive into the startup world.  
Fast, Precise, and Easy Detection of Irregular Heart Rhythms
New diagnostic may help prevent stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, often happens when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain. Electrocardiography (ECG) is one of the most widely used noninvasive diagnostic tools for cardiovascular diseases and plays an essential role in the evaluation of stroke.
Part of the stroke evaluation often includes long-term telemetric ECG monitoring, specifically to detect presence of atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood clots and result in stroke. However, this continuous form of diagnosis is costly and can take months to identify the AF.
University of Michigan's Jimo Borjigin, Ph.D., has developed a novel method to evaluate ECG signals called the electrocardiomatrix (ECM), an IT tool that collects and analyzes ECG data during a patient's hospitalization. The Borjigin's ECM-Stroke team, including Gang Xu, Ph.D. (Engineer), Devin Brown, M.D. (Stroke Neurologist), Michael M. Wang, M.D., Ph.D. (Stroke Neurologist), and Peter Farrehi, M.D. (Cardiologist), is optimistic that the use of ECM technology will promote early and accurate AF detection, prevent future strokes in patients, and help avoid the costs of conducting continuous ECG telemetry. 
"ECM technology is predicted to significantly transform how AFs and other cardiac arrhythmias are detected for both inpatients and outpatients," Borjigin said. "In the long term, ECM will enable more precise diagnosis of heart disease, and will provide more efficient real-time arrhythmia detection to permit timely clinical decisions to be made in the OR, ER, or ICU."
Strokes kill more than 130,000 Americans each year, but up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. ECM would allow fast and accurate AF detection while patients are hospitalized, providing timely prevention of a future stroke and lowering medical costs overall.
"MTRAC funding will allow us to conduct studies to determine whether ECM technology can offer more accurate detection of cardiac abnormalities than existing methods. On-going studies will help determine if ECM will become the preferred analytic tool in ECG laboratories," Borjigin said.
The University of Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) for Life Sciences Innovation Hub is supported by the U-M Medical School, U-M Tech Transfer Office, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and works to "fast forward" projects that have a high potential for commercial success, with the ultimate goal of positively impacting human health. The ECM project is just one of 11 projects in the 2017 cohort funded by MTRAC. In 2014, the program funded 11 teams for early commercialization development, while 11 teams were funded in 2015, and 12 projects were funded in 2016. Dr. Borjigin is a graduate of the FFMI fastPACE course and will be presenting the ECM project at this year's FFMI Biomedical Innovation Cup.

U-M Medical School
UMMS Office of Research
Medicine at Michigan
U-M Business Engagement Center
U-M Center for Entrepreneurship
U-M Tech Transfer
Innovate Blue
U-M Main page
ffmioffice@umich.edu    (734) 615-5060
Office of Research
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is part of the Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the U-M Medical School community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.