Boston University’s BOTLab receives $100,000 in endeavor to turn science into commercialized product from American Cancer Society and Global Center for Medical Innovation.

Fulfilling its recent commitment to identify, develop, and promote technology innovation within the ACS portfolio of funded research, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) teams have selected Boston University’s BOTLab as the first oncology project to enter the program.

Dr. Darren Roblyer – Image credit: Boston University

BOTLab, short for Biomedical Optical Technologies Lab, will receive up to $100,000 from the partnership to accelerate one technology’s journey from basic or applied research to biomedical research ‘for sale.’ Led by Boston University Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty member Darren Roblyer, Ph.D., BOTLab’s near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) technology is working towards detecting how well chemotherapy is working in breast cancer patients using quantitative, real-time data.

“This is a strategic fit for all parties,” says GCMI Executive Director of Business Strategy Andrew Stevenson. “The team is focused on addressing patient needs. With a prototype already in place, we believe the probability of technical success of NIR in this application is high; it is being led by an engineer with significant expertise in optical imaging. More importantly, there is a desire to accept the product development mindset and the rigour of testing all assumptions to ‘fail fast’ and mitigate risks. GCMI’s Accelerator work on behalf of BOTLab and ACS will ensure that patient needs are evaluated, clinical and regulatory requirements are understood, and a sound working plan for execution is maintained.”

“Can we build the device in a way that meets the primary customer requirements?” Dr. Roblyer asks. “Can we address the needs of patients and their caregivers? These are two key questions GCMI has asked me and will help us answer efficiently. Together, the team seeks to advance select technologies through to a point where production or acquisition are realistic.”

The team kicked off the project on April 27. Key milestones were selected in May.

“Dr. Roblyer answered all of the questions regarding the medtech commercialization pathway for a promising technology,” Stevenson says. “Given the match of BOTLab’s needs with ACS’s areas of expertise and interest, GCMI is eager to demonstrate to academic centers across the country that the Southeast has the resources required to efficiently advance biomedical innovation. GCMI has the know-how and grit to increase the pace and impact of the commercialization of biomedical discoveries in cancer moving new technology out of the lab and into the patient care setting.”

ACS and GCMI intend to collectively raise $10 million, $5 million of which will go towards sustaining the partnership. The team intends to launch three to five projects each year.

Media contact:
Paul Snyder
VP, Healthcare, Write2Market for GCMI