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Instead of outsourcing to California, this Baltimore medtech company is now making its devices at home

CoapTech partnered with LaunchPort to figure out how its magnetically aligned catheters could be entirely locally produced.

CoapTech's second-gen balloon catheter at scale. (Courtesy)

Cutting-edge medical devices that used to be made in California are now produced entirely in Baltimore, according to a release from a local medtech company.

CoapTech, a University of Maryland, Baltimore spinout, makes the PUMA-G System — and the first Baltimore-produced batch is now market-ready. Bringing the device manufacturing home was a goal of company cofounder Steven Tropello, an emergency medicine doctor.

“We are in Baltimore,” Tropello told “And not only are we in Baltimore, but we’re trying to double down and continue to build products in Baltimore.”

Tropello last year partnered with LaunchPort, Baltimore Peninsula’s medtech manufacturing accelerator, to find a way to locally make parts for the company’s ultrasound solution for feeding tube placement.

CoapTech has seen significant growth since its spinout in 2016. The company has successfully raised over $12.55 million in funding, coupled with more than $3.5 million in federal and state grant support. The company is actively raising its Series B round. 

Its PUMA technology uses magnetically aligned catheters for insertion into the body. Those catheters, along with a balloon and a small magnet, constitute the disposable components, comparable to razor blades that are discarded after single use. The external magnets, termed “razors,” are placed over the relevant anatomy during the procedure. 

While the initial system had the external magnet over the stomach, the second generation, developed over two years in Baltimore, features improvements, Tropello explained

“We essentially now have one catheter design that can easily be modified to perform a variety of procedures in the body,” he said.

The initial generation of the technology was focused on ICU use to ensure safety, Tropello said, noting that the same safety standards and accumulated data from gen one will be instrumental in obtaining FDA approval for the second generation.

CoapTech’s PUMA technology is expanding to include PUMA-G Pediatrics and PUMA-G XL, catering to patients with higher BMIs, along with PUMA-J, allowing placement in the jejunum. PUMA-J has obtained US FDA approval for human studies at the University of Maryland Medical System. 

“Our rates of complications,” Tropello said, explaining the company’s value prop and appeal, “are lower than the other percutaneous methods.”


Companies: CoapTech

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