M2D2 Finalists: Ailis Tweed-Kent, founder of Cocoon Biotech

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.

Ailis Tweed-Kent, founder of Cocoon Biotech

Ailis Tweed-Kent

Ailis Tweed-Kent

Ailis Tweed-Kent created one of the teams that will move on to the next round of judging in the M2D2 contest. Her company, Cocoon Biotech, was chosen from the pool of applicants because of its true potential to disrupt medicine.

What is Cocoon Biotech all about? This innovator describes her company in a MedTech Boston Q&A:

1. Briefly describe your technology.

Cocoon Biotech will advance the treatment of osteoarthritis with its novel long-acting injectable silk protein. OA currently impacts 150 million people worldwide. The disease occurs when cartilage breaks down in the joint space causing pain and inflammation. Cocoon’s patented technology is silk—an innovative biomaterial known for its strength, lubrication, and drug-delivery capabilities—which can be injected directly into the joint to provide long lasting pain relief with the potential to delay the progression of disease.

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

Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability and results in over $128 billion dollars in management and treatment costs per year. Patients with osteoarthritis often develop a cascade of other medical problems including depression, obesity, and cardiovascular disease because they are unable to work, exercise, or perform daily activities of living. New effective treatment options that provide long lasting pain relief and delay the progression of osteoarthritis will add substantial clinical value.

3. How is it disruptive?

Current treatment options include physical therapy, oral medications (NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors), injections (corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid), and surgery (total knee replacement). Unfortunately, these treatment regimens are either ineffective, short lasting, or lead to detrimental side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding. Moreover, none of these treatment options modify the progression of disease. Cocoon’s silk protein injection will provide long-lasting pain relief without the usual side effects and has the potential to modify the progression of disease.

4. What is your target market?

Cocoon’s lead product will target knee osteoarthritis in both animals and humans. The intra-articular injection market includes adults of all ages particularly those with injuries, obesity, and aging. Over 150 million people worldwide have osteoarthritis and the estimated annual growth rate is 8.7%.

5. What are your anticipated funding needs?

Cocoon is currently seeking $750K to complete pre-clinical work including proof-of-principle animal studies. We will then seek additional financing to complete large animal and toxicology studies in order to enter human clinical trials.

Congratulations and good luck to Cocoon Biotech, 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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