Startup Receives US$175K Grand Prize for Ultrasonic Non-invasive Ocular Drug Delivery Device
LOS ANGELES and SINGAPORE – October 21, 2021 – MedTech Innovator, the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world, in partnership with Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed), the first and only regional association to provide a unified voice for the medical technology industry, today announced Opharmic Technology as the winner of its 2021 Asia Pacific Accelerator program. The winning company was determined by a live virtual audience vote on Oct. 20th during the MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific 2021 Grand Finals hosted by MedTech Innovator in partnership with APACMed.
Based in Hong Kong, Opharmic is developing a transformational ultrasonic non-invasive ocular drug delivery device with the goal of replacing intravitreal injections. More than 500 million patients worldwide suffer from eye diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. While there are effective medications that can improve these diseases, up to 30% of patients refuse these treatments because they require direct injection into the eye.
“The MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific Accelerator program is a truly unique program that not only provided us with valuable industrial insights but also allowed us the rare opportunity to tap into a very exclusive network via its corporate mentorships,” said Dr. Langston Suen, founder and CEO of Opharmic. “We are honored to be recognized as the 2021 Asia Pacific Grand Prize winner, and this funding will support Opharmic as we strive towards our mission of providing a non-invasive alternative to horrifying eye injections for patients all over the world.”
Selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants, Opharmic was awarded the US$175,000 non-dilutive grand prize to advance its business goals and mission to improve future health outcomes of patients in the Asia Pacific region. The company was also awarded a one-year membership to APACMed and was the recipient of the Cambridge Consultants Product Development Award, where they will receive exclusive technical and consultation services from Cambridge Consultants. Biorithm, Miraqules, and VPIX Medical also participated in the organization’s Accelerator program and competed in the Grand Finals, each receiving a US$10,000 cash prize.
“This a groundbreaking time for innovation, disruption, and improvement in the medical technology industry,” said Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator. “I am proud to announce Opharmic as this year’s Asia Pacific MedTech Innovator competition winner for its ultrasonic non-invasive ocular drug delivery device. Today’s competition was representative of the new and exciting technologies emerging in the APAC region that could bring significant value to patients and the healthcare industry. We look forward to continuing our work to identify the top medtech startups in the region and connecting them with a network of potential partners and investors to help them achieve their goals.”
“A sincere congratulations to Opharmic on winning the APAC MedTech Innovator title,” said Harjit Gill, CEO, APACMed. “The Asia Pacific region is a hot spot for medtech innovation and all of the finalist companies who participated in today’s competition are developing breakthrough technologies with the potential to improve patient lives. APACMed is proud to support the MedTech Innovator APAC program and we look forward to watching Opharmic’s progress as they advance their unique health solution towards commercialization.”
“As a judge of today’s competition, I was thrilled to see Opharmic’s device for ultrasonic non-invasive ocular drug delivery be recognized,” said Peter Hawkes, senior director of marketing, Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson. “Johnson & Johnson is a proud partner of the MedTech Innovator APAC Accelerator, and we are eager to continue to help advance new and emerging medical technologies that demonstrate real-world utility and value.”
“Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific competition,” said Audrey Lok, director of healthcare and biomedical, Enterprise Singapore. “We are delighted to work with MedTech Innovator again this year, to identify and support emerging healthcare innovations from around the world. Singapore has established a vibrant biomedical ecosystem and we welcome global startups to join us here in the ideation and commercialization of groundbreaking solutions not just for Singapore, but regionally.”
MedTech Innovator carefully selected 20 best-in-class startups from across Asia Pacific for its 2021 program, providing the companies with exposure to industry leaders and awarding over US$300,000 in cash prizes and in-kind awards. During its final competition, MedTech Innovator also announced the winners of several additional awards.
Biorithm, a company developing a remote fetal monitoring device, was announced winner of Enterprise Singapore’s (ESG) Startup SG award, comprising a SGD$30,000 grant prize and access to extensive resources and networks within Singapore’s startup ecosystem. Additionally, they will be fast-tracked to ESG’s SLINGSHOT global startup competition happening at the Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology (SWITCH) in November, where the Top 100 will pitch their solutions on a global stage and stand to win additional prizes.
Nayam Innovations, a company developing intraocular lenses which can be personalized before or after implantation using a safe light dose was awarded one-year of residency at JLABS @ Shanghai, a state-of-the-art facility that can accommodate more than 50 start-ups across the pharmaceuticals, medical device, consumer, and health tech segments.
Nayam Innovations also received the Sterile Barrier System Design & Development Award from Oliver Healthcare Packaging, where they will receive exclusive technical and consultation services from Oliver Healthcare Packaging in the development of the sterile barrier system for their device.
Adiuvo Diagnostics, a company developing a rapid label free multispectral imaging device to detect and classify pathogens on wounds, was announced the winner of the MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific Best Video Award with a US$5,000 prize.
Judges of the 2021 Asia Pacific final competition included: Peter Hawkes, senior director of marketing, Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson; Yuji Takamiya, senior supervisor, Olympus; Ryota Umegaki, manager business development, Nipro Medical Corporation; Julie Tay, senior vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific, Align Technology; Florian Belohlavek, senior vice president and head of strategy, Asia Pacific, Siemens Healthineers.
MedTech Innovator works closely with stakeholders across the industry to foster the growth of early to mid-stage startups. MedTech Innovator’s 2021 Asia Pacific program sponsors include Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, Align Technology, Nipro Medical Corporation, Oliver Healthcare Packaging, Olympus Medical Systems Group, Siemens Healthineers, Cambridge Consultants, and Enterprise Singapore. The MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific Program is held in partnership with APACMed.
# # #
About MedTech Innovator
Based in Los Angeles, Calif., MedTech Innovator is the largest accelerator of medical device companies in the world and the premier nonprofit startup accelerator in the medical technology industry.[i] Its mission is to improve the lives of patients by accelerating the growth of companies that are transforming the healthcare system. MedTech Innovator matches healthcare industry leaders with innovative early-stage and emerging growth medtech companies for mentorship and support.
For more information about MedTech Innovator, visit https://medtechinnovator.org/ and follow @MedTechAwards on Twitter. To receive industry insights and highlights about MedTech Innovator’s current and alumni participant companies, subscribe to its monthly newsletter.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Singapore, APACMed represents manufacturers and suppliers of medical equipment, devices and in vitro diagnostics, industry associations and other key stakeholders associated with the medical technology industry in Asia Pacific.
Providing a unified voice for the medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics industry in Asia Pacific, APACMed works proactively with bilateral, regional, and local government bodies to shape policies, demonstrate the value of medical technology and promote regulatory harmonization. APACMed strives to promote digital health innovation and impact policy that advances healthcare access for patients by engaging with medical device associations and companies in Asia Pacific.
APACMed is also host to the annual Asia Pacific MedTech Forum.
[i] Gibbs, M., Johnson, B., Silva, B. A., & Berube, K. (2020, July 10). Q2 2020 Life Science Accelerators Insights Cipher Bio. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.cipherbio.com/blog/life-science-accelerators-insights/