UConn Incubator company, Avitus Orthopaedics, Raises $1 Million to Assist with Launch of Avitus Harvester

Investment supports product launch and product portfolio expansion

The University of Connecticut’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Avitus™ Orthopaedics Inc. – a developer of orthopaedic tools that aim to improve clinical outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs for patients, surgeons, and hospitals – are pleased to announce that more than $1 million in capital has been raised to continue commercialization and company growth.

Avitus was recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $750,000. Additionally, Avitus raised $300,000 toward its Series A round from Connecticut Innovations and another private investor. To date, Connecticut Innovations has invested $500,000 in the company to support growth activities, including testing, manufacturing and regulatory filings.

“We’re thrilled that these awards will enable us to grow the team as well as expand the company’s product portfolio,” said Maxim Budyansky, chief technology officer of Avitus. Budyansky is a UCONN alumnus, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010.

“We have seen exciting progress with our fundraising efforts and product development goals,” said Neil Shah, CEO of Avitus. “We are looking to raise an additional $350,000 from new investment partners to close the Series A round. The funds will allow us to submit for 510k clearance of the Avitus Harvester and complete a pilot launch of the product.”

Budyansky and Shah cofounded Avitus Orthopaedics in 2011 after identifying an unmet clinical need during their graduate program in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design. The founding team included leading spinal surgeons from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute. To address this clinical need, the Company has developed a minimally-invasive bone graft harvesting device that provides surgeons with an intuitive, safe and efficient way to harvest bone grafts. The device, the Avitus™ Harvester, is a disposable manual surgical instrument that cuts and collects bone from the patient with a streamlined process.

In 2013, the company relocated its headquarters to the University of Connecticut Technology Incubation Program in Farmington, where it intends to work with local physicians to pilot its products upon FDA clearance. UConn’s Technology Incubation Program provides lab space and business services for fledgling technology companies that also benefit from the use of unique university resources needed to accelerate their growth. “The decision to relocate our headquarters to UConn has allowed the Company to integrate into the Connecticut start up ecosystem and leverage the strong resource base available in the community, catalyzing our company growth while preserving vital resources.” said Shah.

Dr. Jeff Seemann, UConn’s Vice President for Research, said “We are delighted to host this very promising technology company at UConn Health. As with those technologies discovered at the University, we are pleased to support commercialization of the Avitus Harvester and the potential it offers to Connecticut’s economic future. We are especially pleased to attract and retain graduates like Neil and Max who have both the technical skills and business savvy needed to achieve the goals of the state’s Next Generation CT economic initiative.”

Avitus Orthopaedics Inc. was established with the mission of developing new orthopaedic technologies that improve clinical outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs compared to current procedures and devices. Currently, the company is developing a novel surgical device that will enable surgeons to use gold standard autologous bone graft material. Current bone graft solutions are suboptimal in terms of efficacy, safety and cost. Avitus Orthopaedics aims to introduce disruptive technologies in order to improve the lives of patients worldwide.

Media Contact: Rita Zangari, 860 486-3010