Grant Will Help Move UR Innovations From Bench-Top to Bedside

February 3, 2015

BME Professor Jim McGrath has recieved I-Corps funding for his project entitled "Portable Hemodialysis" which aims to develop a portable hemodialysis system for acute renal replacement therapy that clears toxins at rates required for human treatments. The McGrath lab will develop a multichip dialysis prototype that clears urea (acute kidney failure) and ammonia (acute liver failure) from blood at a rate (10 mL/min) typical of standard dialysis machines.

"The NSF I-Corps program gave us an opportunity to investigate the commercial viability of our ideas for wearable hemodialysis by talking to 100 potential ‘customers.’ These customers included patients, doctors, caregivers, dialysis center and hospital administrators, first responders, engineers, social workers and more. The experience transformed our understanding of hemodialysis, how it is administered, and where the technology needs actually are. We’ve used the iCorps experience to write highly informed and focused grant proposals to the NIH that we hope will enable us to translate our technology and actually improve the life of patients with end stage renal failure" said McGrath.

The funding, provided through NSF's Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site program, will help the teams learn first-hand about entrepreneurship and explore the transition of their ideas, devices, processes or other intellectual activities from bench-top to bedside. The University's Center for EntrepreneurshipUR Ventures (the University's recently rebranded technology transfer office) and High Tech Rochester, a University subsidiary that provides training and incubator space for start-ups, will be key partners in the grant. The Principal Investigator is Duncan Moore, the University's Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship. Co-PI is Patrick Emmerling, Licensing Manager with UR Ventures. A key goal is to create a replicable and efficient university-based model to commercialize innovations based on proven I-Corps tools "Product/Market Fit" and the "Business Model Canvas." Rochester Institute of Technology has received a similar grant from the I-Corps program, which may lead to collaboration with the University.