LifeSprout, makers of synthetic tissues for aesthetic and reconstructive medicine, is moving from Johns Hopkins‘ East Baltimore innovation hub into a manufacturing accelerator for medical device companies in South Baltimore’s Port Covington.
Formed by a group of Johns Hopkins researchers in 2015, LifeSprout will take space inside LaunchPort at City Garage, which was launched under the direction of Maryland medtech leader Bob Storey in 2017 through a partnership between Indiana-based Engineered Medical Systems and The MVR Company.
The company’s products are designed to be injected to restore soft tissue volume, and looks, feels and behaves like the body’s own tissues, CEO Eric Goorno said.
The move shows a transition between city-based innovation spaces that can help companies at different phases. The company is leaving JHU’s FastFoward 1812, which is located on the university’s medical campus, amid growth. It’s working toward clinical trials of its first product next year and regulatory approval.
In a statement, Goorno said FastFoward 1812 “provided LifeSprout with the ideal location to transition from concept to early prototyping while locking down the fundamental technology. Now that we’re at the development and scale-up stage, we’re ready to go to the next step.”
At City Garage, LifeSprout will have access to a cleanroom where it can complete manufacturing of some of its most critical components as it scales up, Goorno said. The company will maintain connections with FastForward 1812.
“To be right there was ideal, and to be in Baltimore was ideal because we still connect regularly with our brethren and founders from Johns Hopkins,” Goorno said.
LifeSprout is the third startup for the long-time medical device executive, who joined the team in August 2018. He said the decision came as a result of three factors: the startup’s team, and technology that was “truly differentiated.” It also has a big market opportunity on a global scale, he said.
Sashank Reddy, a cofounder of the company who previously served as CEO and is now the medical director at Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures, remains actively involved as the president of the company and a board member, Goorno said.