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UConn Spinout, Biorasis Receives $3M from Helmsley Charitable Trust

Glucowizzard, 24/7 continuous glucose monitoring implant. (Biorasis Photo)

Biorasis, a life sciences company developing the smallest non-surgically implantable continuous glucose monitoring system, has received $3 million in non-dilutive funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. As part of the agreement, the Helmsley Trust will provide funding to support preclinical advancement of Biorasis’ technology. The partnership is structured as a program-related investment (PRI) in the form of a loan to Biorasis.

Invented by UConn professors, Biorasis’ technology responds to significant clinical and societal needs. Diabetes affects 30 million Americans, or one in 10, and creates numerous secondary complications including blindness, heart disease, and stroke. With one in every four Americans being pre-diabetic, innovative solutions to combat the diabetes epidemic continue to represent a major challenge for the U.S. healthcare system.

“We are excited and honored to be working with the Helmsley Charitable Trust, an organization dedicated to bringing new technologies and therapies to people with Type 1 diabetes,” says Fotis Papadimitrakopoulos, UConn professor of chemistry and co-founder of Biorasis. “We look forward to our combined efforts to improve the lives of many who suffer from this debilitating disease.”

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients need a long-term, reliable, and cost-effective continuous glucose monitoring system to effectively manage their condition. Biorasis is developing Glucowizzard, the smallest and most accurate, minimally invasive biosensor.

Glucowizzard eliminates painful finger pricking and provides real-time glucose monitoring for managing diabetes and enabling patients to improve their eating habits.  The device also eliminates open wounds and permits diabetics to swim, run, and maintain an active lifestyle.

“This new Helmsley Charitable Trust funding fills a critical need in financing that will enable Biorasis to move our technology forward to be ready for clinical trials,” says Ilze Krisst, chief operating officer of Biorasis.

“It is also important to note that this new funding will build upon years of consistent non-dilutive funding from federal and state agencies, foundations and private sources, including most recently National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, JDRF, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the U.S. Army as well as the Mass Challenge Diamond Award,” says Faquir Jain, UConn professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-founder of Biorasis.

Biorasis is located at UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP) in Farmington, CT. The company plans to leverage funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to translate Glucowizzard to humans via FDA’s Early Feasibility Study-IDE (Individual Device Exemption).

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By:  Jessica McBride | Story Courtesy of UConn Today


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