(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
UM Ventures is backing a company that takes a new approach to a women’s health procedure that removes the uterus and cervix as it develops its device in Baltimore.
The University of Maryland’s startup-backing arm recently signed a licensing deal with SurgiGyn, and kicked in some investment money for the company’s seed round along with a private investor. (The amount wasn’t disclosed.)
The company was founded by physicians Roger Brecheen of Jackson, Wyo., and Vadim Morozov of the University of Maryland. In terms of intellectual property, the two combined forces, said UM Ventures Chief Commercialization Officer Phil Robilotto.
The company is developing a device called a Uterine Electrosurgical Device (UED), which has a precise way to remove the cervix and uterus from surrounding tissue. The device enters through the vagina, whereas the current procedure involves entering through the abdomen, said Rana Quraishi, UM Ventures’ Director of New Ventures, who is helping the company.
“Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women,” Brecheen said in a statement. “The UED is designed to significantly simplify minimally invasive hysterectomy procedures, providing a safe and more effective solution that improves patient outcomes and reduces surgical time.”
The company is working toward a clinical study this year, and a lot of the development work is happening in Baltimore. UM Ventures staff including Robilotto and Quarishi are helping the company with business development, and Surgigyn’s offices will be located at the Lion Brothers Building in Hollins Market. The prototype is being developed at Harbor Designs and Manufacturing in nearby Pigtown.
Those available resources for starting a company are all located on the southwest side of Baltimore, and more startups founded by inventors and researchers are starting to sprout as well, Robilotto said.
“We’re starting to see a big uptick in our startups,” he said.