Case and UH receive state support to launch commercialization fund

The Ohio Third Frontier has invested $3 million in an initiative from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center designed to bring research and treatment breakthroughs to market.

In addition to the state support, Case Western Reserve will invest $2 million and UH Case Medical Center $1 million to the Case Technology and University Hospitals Ventures (CTUHV) Fund.  The pre-seed fund will aim to help advance commercialization of discoveries that include medical technology related to imaging, medical and surgical devices, regenerative medicine, healthcare software, advanced materials, and energy.

“The CTUHV Fund is predicated on the success of Case Technology Ventures, Northeast Ohio’s first seed fund of this kind,” said Joe Jankowski, assistant vice president for Technology Transfer at Case Western Reserve. “Created in 2003, the CTV established myriad active companies employing 120 full-time employees in the region, and which leveraged investments of more than $91 million—a 53-to-1 ratio compared to the $1.7 million in pre-seed money.”

Those companies include Arteroiocyte, which has received U.S. and foreign approval for five stem-cell and tissue-engineering-based products. Also CardioInsight, which has developed 3D whole-heart electroanatomy mapping technology that assists doctors in diagnosing heart arrhythmias.

Stephen Behm, director of technology management at UH Case Medical Center, said the fund will capitalize on the healthcare expertise and patient care found at the medical center.

“UH Case Medical Center is a world leading research-oriented healthcare institution that has a strong history of commercializing research,” Behm said. “Our physicians are on the leading edge of developing new techniques and therapies in the pursuit of our mission: ‘To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.’ and this fund will help bring some of these discoveries to market for the benefit of patients.”

The university and the hospital combined their efforts to enhance their chances for securing a state grant. They focused on pre-seed funding because that’s traditionally been the greatest need.

The CTUHV Fund aims to invest in 12 new companies with half achieving follow-on Series-A financing within 2 years of receiving pre-seed money, creating an average of 20 employees per company and leveraging capitalization at a rate of better than 15 to 1.

The new fund will invest in start-up companies and firms recruited to Ohio to support the venture. Such entities may include those with strong ties to the institutions and/or have forged a formal relationship with the Ohio Third Frontier Entrepreneur Signature Program (ESP) and the collaborators.

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