Cohesys, a biomedical device startup that makes biodegradable ‘bone tape’ to help heal facial fractures, recently took home US$20,000 at an international competition.
The company, founded by U of T Engineering alumnus Michael Floros (IBBME PhD 1T8) and spun out from the lab of Professor Paul Santerre (Dentistry, IBBME), received first prize at the annual Venture Cup in April at Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon.
The startup’s bone tape is non-toxic and breaks down gradually in the body. The hope is that it will one day replace the current tools of facial surgeons: metal plates and screws, improving both surgical times and outcomes for facial surgery patients.
“This is the only adhesive that sticks to wet bone,” says Floros. “There is no other tape for bones or anything similar out there.”
Accompanying Floros at the competition were post-doctoral researchers Alex Lausch (MSE 1T1, IBBME PhD 1T7) and post-doctoral researcher Michael Tessier, a recent MBA graduate from the Ivey Business School at Western University.
Cohesys was chosen as one of sixteen finalists at the competition, which drew teams from as far away as the Philippines. The competition involved six separate pitches to a jury of engineers, business people and medical experts, including a one minute elevator pitch, a business plan pitch, as well as a 30-minute pitch.
Winning the Venture Cup was the latest achievement for the Cohesys team.
They recently took a $10,000 first-place spot at the RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, held at U of T’s True Blue Expo earlier this year.
In fact, the one-year-old startup’s team has been so successful in raising cash they’ve already reached their first major funding milestone: US$1 million of investment capital, which will enable them to make progress on obtaining FDA approval for their product.
The team hopes to hit the U.S. biomedical market in a year and a half.
“It has been impressive to see the advancements made by Michael Floros and his entrepreneurial team at Cohesys as they have continued to hit critical milestones needed to advance this paradigm shifting technology,” says Santerre.