“Managing core body temperature safely and effectively in surgical procedures remains a big challenge, and Mercury’s air-free patient warming solution is designed for physicians and hospitals transitioning to value-based care and alternative payment models,” explains Brian Patrick, Mercury Biomed co-founder.
Fifty three million patients undergo general anesthesia procedures each year and run the risk of life-threatening complications due to rapid reduction of core body temperature in the operating room. Warming patients during surgery has become standard of care, but Mercury Biomed’s approach is vastly different and considerably smarter than existing alternatives. Mercury Biomed’s WarmSmart system, in contrast to alternative methods, works in-concert with the body’s intrinsic thermoregulatory function to noninvasively warm the body core. WarmSmart is physiologically more efficient, less intrusive to the surgical field, easy-to-use, and eliminates the risk of surgical site infection associated with current forced-air warming devices. The global market for patient temperature management solutions is $2.5 billion per year.
"Mercury is deeply appreciative of the assistance provided by the NIH and NIGMS through this STTR program," said Brad Pulver, CEO of Mercury Biomed. "Our mission is to provide the smartest, safest, and most clinically effective solution to help hospitals and surgeons who, in a growing number of cases, are required to accept financial responsibility for patient outcomes. This award expedites our time to market and allows us to continue our rapid progress and initial success toward this goal.”
WarmSmart was developed from research conducted at The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Ken Diller, inventor, principal investigator, and Mercury Biomed’s chief science officer, commented, “An award from this highly competitive STTR program is a testimony to the importance of improving safety and surgery outcomes, and our disruptive discovery for the field of human temperature management. The support of the NIH is validating to our efforts and will be instrumental in translating our technology from my bio heat transfer lab to commercial application."
Based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of Mercury Biomed’s project, an additional potential $1.5M in non-dilutive funds may be awarded in Phase II. During Phase II, Mercury Biomed would begin its second pivotal clinical trial with its partner, the Cleveland Clinic, where Drs. Daniel Sessler and Andrea Kurz, along with Dr. Wilton Levine (Mass General) will oversee Mercury Biomed’s clinical efforts. The grant is Mercury Biomed’s second major non-dilutive funding victory, as it was previously funded by the Ohio Third Frontier program.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Mercury Biomed is commercializing its proprietary Smart Temperature Management System technology, a breakthrough non-invasive and holistic approach to cooling and warming patients when and where it matters most. Founded in 2015, the company is led by scientific experts and entrepreneurs in the field of therapeutic temperature management. Mercury Biomed’s WarmSmart product is currently in clinical trials and is targeted for a 2018 launch, pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance.
The National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs are designed to award federal research grants to small businesses conducting biomedical research. The goal of these programs is to spur technological innovation leading to commercialization of novel innovative medical technologies to improve public health.