Sintact Medical Systems, a startup developing an implantable film that prevents internal scar formation following surgery, announced today that the company was selected for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. In addition to the $150,000 Phase I grant, Sintact was awarded $50,000 in matching funds from Elevate Ventures in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).
The collective funds will contribute to the company’s ongoing testing and development of a non-resorbable film designed to separate and protect internal organs from scar formation and scar-related defects—complications that frequently occur after a number of common surgeries.
“It’s exciting to get this kind of validation and support from an organization like the NSF SBIR program, not to mention the additional contribution from Elevate Ventures and the IEDC,” said Sintact CEO Erik Robinson. “These organizations have provided an incredible opportunity that will enable us to make substantial progress toward bringing our technology to market and ultimately improving patients’ lives.”
Phase I of the NSF SBIR grant program is designed as a “proof-of-concept” grant, which can be followed by a larger development grant of $750,000. For the initial phase, Sintact plans to conduct a three-month animal study—a longer version of a study Robinson performed during his doctoral work at Northwestern University in collaboration with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, which demonstrated a reduction in scar formation of 86 percent.
In addition to seeking out grant funding, Robinson has advanced the commercialization of Sintact’s technology by participating in various programs that support startups, which he feels ultimately helped them secure the grant.
“We’ve been fortunate to get involved in a number of programs that exist to support companies like ours, and these have been an invaluable resource,” Robinson said. “Not only have they helped connect us to mentors, investors and experts in our field who have been instrumental in our growth, but they’ve also helped position us as an attractive investment and a strong candidate for grants like this one.”
Sintact was a member of the 2014 class of Health Wildcatters, a Dallas-based healthcare startup accelerator program. The company has also been supported by VentureWell, an organization out of Massachusetts that helps commercialize innovations developed at colleges and universities, and iBIO Institute’s PROPEL Center, a Chicago-based effort to increase success rates of life science startups.
“It’s wonderful to see Sintact making such great progress since the program,” said Health Wildcatters CEO Hubert Zajicek. “They have all the elements for success, so it’s exciting to watch all those elements come together as they get closer to bringing their technology to the patients who can benefit from it.”
Phase I of the NSF SBIR grant ends December 31, 2015. Upon completion of Phase I, Sintact will report results to be considered for the additional Phase II funding.
For more information on Sintact and their surgical film technology, visit sintactmed.com.