This Johns Hopkins–born medical device startup is moving to Baltimore - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Sep. 21, 2017 4:34 pm

This Johns Hopkins–born medical device startup is moving to Baltimore

Vixiar Medical will be moving into City Garage. The company is part of the LaunchPort Accelerator taking root inside the Port Covington space.
Vixiar Medical’s Indicor device.

Vixiar Medical's Indicor device.

(Courtesy photo)

Vixiar Medical spun out of research at Johns Hopkins. Three years later, the startup will officially be a Baltimore company.

The company is moving its headquarters from Annapolis to City Garage, the Port Covington maker hub set up by Sagamore Ventures. While the company is maintaining an office in the Maryland capital, a half-dozen employees will move to Baltimore, said CEO Kevin Thibodeau.

Vixiar will be taking residence at LaunchPort, the accelerator focused on medical device manufacturing that is set to start coming online later this year. There, the company will be located in the same space as its manufacturing partner, Engineering Medical Systems. That company is also moving to Baltimore, and is set to have a working facility producing commercial products alongside the accelerator known as The Factory in the 10,000 sq. ft. space. That will provide access to “a lot of regulatory and quality control functions that we don’t have to build out on our own,” Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau said Vixiar also wanted to be close to Johns Hopkins, and help be part of an effort to bring jobs to the city. He added that there is a lot to gain by being close to other companies who are also developing medical devices. There are advantages “both from a cost perspective and a learning and best practice perspective,” he said.

Outside City Garage (photo by Stephen Babcock)

Outside City Garage (photo by Stephen Babcock)

LaunchPort is opening with a lofty goal of making Baltimore a magnet for medical device companies. The accelerator designed for companies who are in the process of getting regulatory approval and planning production.

Vixiar seems like a prime example of a fit. Founded out of research led by Johns Hopkins cardiologist Harry Silber, the startup is developing a device and corresponding app that helps monitor worsening heart failure. Indicor is designed to be used in a variety of settings, including outside the clinic, and is not invasive.

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The company closed on a $1.5 million seed round in July, and has attracted funding locally from the Abell Foundation and TEDCO. Thibodeau said it added a $1.2 million STTR grant from the National Institutes of Health last month.

Thibodeau, who started as CEO of the company in January, said the goal is to complete regulatory approval for the product by the end of the year.

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