New Medical Device Company Tangent Medical Technologies, Inc. Evolves From The University of Michigan Medical Innovation Center  
6/25/2010 10:05:28 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - While observing surgeries and intensive care procedures, University of Michigan Medical Innovation Center fellows Adrienne Harris, Elyse Kemmerer, Merrell Sami and Steven White noticed that the current design for peripheral intravenous systems, or IVs, caused a great deal of hassle and had a high complication rate.

The experience inspired the fellows to start Tangent Medical Technologies, Inc., a medical device development company that will change the way IVs are used for hospitalized patients. Tangent recently finalized its licensing agreement with U-M that provides the University with an equity stake in the company.

“Failure of intravenous systems can cause complications and even infection for patients, and because failed IVs need to be replaced, this can cost hospitals substantial amounts of money,” says Kemmerer, director of market development at Tangent.

Tangent was formed by the fellows as a spinoff from the MIC after they completed the fellowship but weren’t finished with their project to develop and commercialize Novacath -- a safer and more effective design for delivery of intravenous fluid and medication through peripheral veins.

“Because the majority of hospitalized patients require IVs to receive fluids, with Novacath, we hope to enhance IV outcomes for patient satisfaction and save hospitals from the unnecessary costs of failed devices,” Kemmerer says.

The patent-pending Novacath, is currently in the prototype stage of development. In the near future, Tangent hopes to submit Novacath for FDA clearance and obtain a contract with a manufacturer for production and sale of the device.

“This is a great example of how MIC applies the advancement of medical device technology ideas from campus, out into the commercialized world,” says Brenda Jones, managing director of the Medical Innovation Center.

The MIC’s flagship program is a one-year U-M fellowship that brings together post-grads from engineering, business and medicine to develop solutions for unmet clinical needs. Tangent Medical Technologies is one of the two medical device companies spawned by the MIC’s inaugural fellowship class. The MIC also provides assistance to medical innovators in the advancement and prototyping of their ideas.