From left: Jim Taylor, Smith & Nephew; Mark Speers, Health Advances; Dan Bracco, Cytyc; Jeff Burbank, NxStage; Doug Adams, SOLX; Rajesh Panda, Philips; Joseph Leghorn, Nixon Peabody; Dan Manley, TissueLink; and Amar Sawhney, Confluent.
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MassMEDIC, the trade association for Massachusetts's device industry, in November gave out its first-ever Medical Device Innovation Awards. The awards honor New England device makers that have developed technologies that have reduced healthcare costs, improved patient outcomes, and enhanced medical procedures.
“New England companies are designing and producing some of the world's most advanced medical products,” says Tom Sommer, MassMEDIC's president. He says the winners “improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare both here in Massachusetts and across the globe.”
The group gave awards in three categories: start-up firms with less than $5 million in annual revenue, early-stage firms with $5 million to $10 million in revenue, and established firms with revenues of more than $10 million. The winners in the start-up firm group were Confluent Surgical Inc. (Waltham, MA) and NxStage Medical Inc. (Lawrence, MA). Confluent makes DuraSeal, a biocompatible hydrogel that eliminates surgical complications that result from fluid, air, and blood leaks. NxStage makes NxStage System One, a portable automated dialysis machine that can be used in hospitals or homes.
The early-stage firm winner was TissueLink Medical Inc. (Dover, NH). Its Aquamantys system reduces blood loss and related complications. It combines bipolar radio-frequency energy with saline to evenly conduct energy into tissue, without the smoke and charring often found in electrocautery. The established firm category winner was Cytyc Corp. (Marlborough, MA). Its ThinPrep imaging system is the first fully integrated and interactive computer system for primary screening and diagnosis of cervical cancer.
Honorable mentions went to SOLX Inc. (Boston), a start-up firm, and Philips Medical Systems Inc. (Andover, MA), an established firm. SOLX makes the GMS Gold Micro-Shunt, an implant that reduces eye pressure that can lead to glaucoma. Philips was honored for its S5-1 transducer, which provides ultrasound imaging at nearly the resolution of the more-expensive CT and MRI.
Nixon Peabody LLP (Boston) and Smith & Nephew, whose endoscopy business is headquartered in Andover, sponsored the awards.