Award to drive development of Prebeo’s technology aimed at reducing the thousands of deaths each year caused by failure to find viable kidney matches for transplantation
September 10, 2020, Baltimore, MD – Prebeo, LLC, a medical technology company working to improve the evaluation of donor kidneys to drive more successful transplantations and save lives, announced today it has been awarded a $150,000 Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) investment from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).
The MII grant award will enable Prebeo to accelerate development of its Kidney Viability Assessment System (KVAS). This device uses optical coherence tomography (OCT), augmented by an intelligent image-analysis algorithm, to non-invasively evaluate donor kidneys in real time.
Prebeo’s proprietary method, with a scan time under five minutes, will act as a quantitative supplement to the existing standard of care – comprised of single tissue biopsy and a score created from a donor’s medical history – for assessing donor kidneys. Thousands of donor kidneys are discarded each year due to inconclusive quality-testing results. Many of these organs are likely transplantable – but only if an objective test could demonstrate their viability. Prebeo aims to provide that objective assessment.
“With Prebeo’s KVAS, we aim to save lives by making the kidney transplantation placement process more efficient and drive better patient outcomes,” said Chris Moad, Director of Business Development. “Increasing the number of donor kidneys deemed viable for transplant is crucial to improving patient outcomes. We’re grateful to TEDCO’s MII program for their support of this important project.”
Prebeo’s technology, invented by Yu Chen, PhD, formerly Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, addresses a market need of roughly $458 million annually, targeting Certified Transplant Centers, Organ Procurement Organizations and hospitals throughout the US for kidney transplantations.
“As it stands, 100,000 Americans currently are on wait lists to receive kidney transplants, and 8,000 die each year from failure to find a viable kidney for transplantation,” said Moad. “With these TEDCO MII resources, our team of scientists and engineers can accelerate development of our technology for significantly improving the evaluation of donor kidneys to enable more successful transplantations.”
TEDCO’s MII was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions: Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and University of Maryland, College Park. The program is designed to promote commercialization of research conducted in the partnership universities, leveraging each institution’s strengths.
Prebeo, LLC is a medical technology company, based in Baltimore, MD, working to improve the evaluation of donor kidneys to drive more successful transplantations and save lives. Prebeo is a portfolio company with Early Charm Ventures.