University Spin Game
Success is rare and slow for spinoff companies, but the potential rewards -- visibility and income - keep schools playing.
Technologies: LifeGate’s medical alert system communicates the need for emergency care in real time. Jotmate will provide software and hardware for electronic documentation of laboratory notes. Shown in photo: Camillo Ricordi. [Photo: UM]
San Francisco (UM)
Camillo Ricordi, distinguished professor of medicine and professor of surgery, biomedical engineering, microbiology and immunology at the University of Miami
Stephen Sanders, CEO
Steven Sikes, president
Spun off: 2007
Sales: LifeGate prototype will be completed in late spring; revenue is expected later this year.
Market: Medical professionals and people with chronic diseases
While Camillo Ricordi is best known as one of the world’s leading scientists in cell transplantation, he is also an entrepreneur. In 2007, with the support of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s new vice provost for technology advancement, Bart Chernow, Ricordi and his partners launched LifeGate and Jotmate.
A separate company, Converge, has developed a device that limits cell therapies to certain areas of the body so that anti-rejection therapies don’t affect healthy parts of the body.
Ricordi’s idea for LifeGate came as he saw diabetics dying because in a severe hypoglycemic event they can lose consciousness within 10 seconds. Continuous glucose monitors can be linked to the LifeGate alert device, which provides a wireless signal to emergency professionals. “Time can save lives,” says Ricordi.