Former grad students form medical device company

Sept. 6, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by South Dakota Biotech.

Next-generation medical devices are being developed in Sioux Falls through a new company, Tailored Medical Devices.

The National Institutes of Health has notified the team that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant of $225,000 to move forward with developing a drug-coated balloon to treat peripheral arterial disease, or PAD.

It’s technology developed jointly by researchers at USD’s department of biomedical engineering and Sanford Health, including vascular surgeon Dr. Patrick Kelly.

“When people have blocked arteries, usually in the leg, the current standard of treatment is balloon angioplasty, where a surgeon makes an incision at  the groin, directs a guide wire down and follows with a balloon that expands and pushes the artery open,” explained Dan Engebretson, one of the partners in Tailored Medical Devices and head of the biomedical engineering department at USD.

“What we’ve learned is the balloon expansion wounds the artery. The artery starts to scar and reclose. That’s where drug-coated balloons come into play. It’s a drug that prevent scar tissue from forming. You leave behind a little of that drug, and it keeps scarring and reclosing from happening.”

Sujan Lamichhane

Tailored Medical Devices has improved on the current drug-coated balloons in the marketplace, he said. Some aren’t safe for certain applications.

“Our technology addresses that,” he said. “It’s a safe, more effective treatment for PAD.”

Tailored Medical Devices was co-founded by former USD graduate students Jordan Anderson and Sujan Lamichhane, who graduated in December. They’re listed on the patent issued this summer.

“They’re creative guys with great ideas,” Engebretson said.

Assuming the device continues to progress in development, the next step would be a two-year $1.5 million grant to allow more in-depth evaluation.

“In phase one we focus on feasibility, and in phase two we look at it on a larger scale with the goal of gathering enough preliminary data so the technology is well understood, well characterized, and then you can license it to a much larger company,” Engebretson said. “There are several companies looking for opportunities in the drug-coated balloon space.”

Jordan Anderson

Tailored Medical Devices is the newest member of South Dakota Biotech, the state affiliate of the international BIO organization.

“It’s so exciting to see a company like this take root in our state,” said Joni Johnson, South Dakota Biotech’s executive director.

The company is simultaneously working on other new innovations from its home at the GEAR Center on the campus of the USD Discovery District in Sioux Falls.

One idea was submitted to the National Science Foundation in July, and another will be going to the NIH this month.

“That’s the great thing about working with bright, energetic folks to do these things,” Engebretson said. “The partnership between USD and Sanford has taken graduate students who wanted to stay in the region, and through the GEAR Center and biomedical engineering department, we’ve helped them create their own opportunities to stay here and be part of the growing med-tech economy in Sioux Falls.”

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Former grad students form medical device company

Next-generation medical devices are being developed in Sioux Falls through a new company, Tailored Medical Devices.

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