This article originally published on https://innovation.uconn.edu
Vanessa Research, Inc. (VRI) has been accepted into the University of Connecticut’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP) and will begin operating in Farmington to continue development of HaloGard™, a device to treat cervical insufficiency.
“Being accepted into the TIP program will enable VRI to utilize the available vast research and development resources and infrastructure of UConn, as well as to collaborate with the university’s world-class faculty,” says Dr. Dmitry Kravtsov, Vanessa Research’s vice president of research.
TIP connects promising startup companies with UConn’s world-class research resources and business support services, as well as with experienced investors and entrepreneurs to help their launch ventures. The program operates facilities at both UConn Health in Farmington and UConn’s main campus in Storrs.
Vanessa Research will leverage TIP resources to continue development of a non-surgical medical device that aims to treat cervical insufficiency in women in the second trimester of their pregnancies. Funding for the technology was provided through an award from the Connecticut Innovations Bioscience Pipeline competition.
Cervical insufficiency takes place when a developing baby puts pressure on the cervix and causes it to begin to open before the baby is ready to be born. This condition occurs in one in every 100 pregnancies and, if left untreated, can lead to premature deliveries or miscarriages. VRI’s HaloGard™ technology works to keep the cervix safely closed in order to increase the probability of having a healthy, full-term delivery.
“We are thrilled to support an emerging pioneer like Vanessa Research,” says Mostafa Analoui, PhD, executive director of venture development and TIP at UConn. “VRI has already made great progress with the development of medical treatments such as Shylicine™, a patented pharmaceutical cocktail designed to improve the intestinal well-being of those afflicted by the rare childhood genetic disease, Microvillus Inclusion Disease. We are excited to be involved with their future growth in the medical device field.”
Some of VRI’s other projects focus on improving laboratory tissue storage techniques and digital educational tools about the dangers of sun overexposure. They join 35 other companies currently participating in the UConn Technology Incubation Program. Fellow TIP startups are commercializing new vaccines and nutraceutical treatments, stem cell therapies, medical devices, wearable technologies, advanced manufacturing technologies, water desalination solutions, animal nutritive therapies and more.
Since the program launched in 2003, TIP companies have raised more than $80 million in equity and debt, received $50 million in grant funding and generated over $45 million in revenue.