University of Maryland (UM) Ventures and Harpoon Medical, Inc. announced today that the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has invested $100,000 in Harpoon Medical. This is the first equity investment UM Ventures has made in a company and completes Harpoon Medical’s $3.6M Series A financing. The investment also coincides with the U.S. PTO’s decision to grant a patent for the innovative beating-heart mitral valve repair technology Harpoon Medical licensed from UMB. The team in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at The University of Maryland School of Medicine developed the licensed technology.
“We have been working with UM Ventures since Harpoon was formed and are honored that they chose to make their inaugural investment in our company,” said Bill Niland, Harpoon Medical’s CEO. “In just over a year we have formed a company, licensed innovative technology from UMB, secured the first of what will hopefully be many patents, and raised the funds necessary to demonstrate the efficacy of the device in the clinic. The support we received from UM Ventures and UMB has been instrumental in that process and we would not be where we are today without their assistance.”
UM Ventures recently established an investment fund to aid in accelerating technology transfer and commercialization of products developed within UMB and University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), particularly in recognizing that it can be difficult for startup companies to raise initial funds. The fund will provide both equity investments and/or loans to startups coming out of the universities and that are establishing headquarters in Maryland.
“Through UM Ventures, UMB and UMD are able to make investments that aid in commercializing technologies developed at the universities,” said James L. Hughes, Director of UM Ventures, and President, Research Park Corporation, UMB. “The resources provided to these companies are designed to help attract high-quality entrepreneurs to leadership positions and to add to the economic development benefits provided by the State of Maryland. These investments should also provide a potential financial return to our two universities. It’s designed to be a win-win for all parties involved.”