M2D2 Finalists: Meet Yanzhe Qin, Zhifei Ge and Larry Alberts, founders of EvoPump

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is in the midst of its 2014 New Venture Competition. After weeks of pitches, fifteen finalists have been announced. These finalists have business ventures that M2D2 has deemed “disruptive.” With these fifteen blogs posts, MedTech Boston gives readers a glimpse of the innovators that made it this far in the M2D2 New Venture Competition.

Yanzhe Qin, Zhifei Ge and Larry Alberts, founders of EvoPump

Yanzhe Qin

Yanzhe Qin

Zhifei Ge

Zhifei Ge

Larry Alberts

Larry Alberts

Yanzhe Qin, Zhifei Ge and Larry Alberts make up one of the teams that will move on to the next round of judging in the M2D2 contest. Their company, EvoPump, was chosen from the pool of applicants because of its true potential to disrupt medicine.

What is EvoPump all about? The innovators describe their company in a MedTech Boston Q&A:

1. Briefly describe your technology.

The Evopump resembles a matchbook-sized bandage but is actually an actively controlled and highly precise continuous infusion pump for subcutaneous delivery of medications. Compared to existing patch pumps which are the size and shape of a computer mouse, the Evopump’s form factor and delivery precision represent a major improvement in patient comfort and ease-of-use combined with clinical flexibility.

2. How does it add value to a clinical environment?

As an insulin pump, the Evopump overcomes technical burdens that have contributed to the low penetration of pumps among diabetes patients, despite their demonstrated ability to maintain more stable blood glucose levels than multiple daily insulin injections.  While newer patch pumps have freed patients from cumbersome tube-connected devices , their bulky and rigid form makes them obtrusive and prone to detachment, and their rigidity and weight require aggressive, skin-irritating adhesives. Patch pumps’ many components make them complex to manufacture. Separate patch pumps are required to deliver multiple hormones.

3. How is it disruptive?

The Evopump fits unobtrusively into the lives of people with diabetes and easily integrates with the other elements of a closed-loop system, especially continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) equipment. Our pumping mechanism consists of a matrix of dozens of micro-channel-connected tiny reservoirs, each with its own water-hydrolysis-driven pumping mechanism and all imbedded in a flexible polyurethane substrate within a robust casing. The Evopump can deliver safe, reliable, and accurate dosing under a wide variety of environmental conditions, precisely vary flow rates to adjust bolus delivery based on last-minute CGM data; accurately administer basal doses as small as 100 nl , and deliver multiple hormones from different micro-reservoirs to enable counter-regulation under hypoglycemic conditions. Importantly, the Evopump has a flexible, stretchable and lightweight form factor that conforms to skin and body shape, reducing skin irritation, and mitigating the risk of pump detachment.

4. What is your target market?

In addition to its application in the multi-billion dollar market for insulin pumps, the Evopump can potentially be used in a wide range of other indications such as trauma and wound care, cancer treatment, fertility treatments, and for most medications that would benefit from flexible and actively controlled subcutaneous infusion, e.g., analgesics, NSAIDs, other hormone therapies and biologics requiring bolus injection.

5. What are your anticipated funding needs?

To date we have bootstrapped our development to design and produce three functional and bench-tested iterations of pump mechanism prototypes. We are seeking $2 million to advance the prototype to a commercially-producible, robust, safe, device ready for IDE submission over the next two years.

Congratulations and good luck to EvoPump, and be sure to stay tuned to catch the other 14 finalists winners featured on MedTech Boston!

M2D2 will be hosting the 2014 New Venture Competition Showcase Event on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Novel medical device technologies will be presented, followed by a poster and networking session. The grand prize winner will be announced at the follow up winner’s ceremony on April 8th at the offices of Nutter McClennen & Fish in Boston from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Sony Salzman

Sony Salzman

    At MedTechBoston, we are sharing stories about cutting-edge medical innovation. As Managing Editor, I help coordinate our coverage of hackathons and company profiles. I also create content, update our social media and scout stories. I'm part of an ambitious group of people hoping to inspire a tech revolution in medical care.

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