Norfolk medical device firm receives additional $2.5M from DARPA
Funding will support development of implantable orthopedic medical device.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded $2.5 million in non-dilutive funding to Norfolk-based medical device manufacturer Embody Inc. for the second phase of development and clinical assessment for its proprietary Microbrace ACL technology for the repair of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, the company announced Tuesday.
Embody previously received $11.85 million for the first phase of the device’s development through a DARPA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant as part of the defense agency’s Atoms to Product (A2P) program. A2P promotes the delivery of innovative technologies that employ scaleable processes to create devices that include nanometer- to micron-scale components.
“We are excited for this opportunity to extend our work with DARPA and apply our collagen microfiber technology to a significant clinical application,” Embody CEO Jeff Conroy said in a statement. “This funding represents the next significant step in the commercialization of Embody’s Microbrace for ACL repair.”
Microbrace for ACL is a medical device designed to restore mechanical stability to the knee joint. It’s created from the biofabrication of collagen — a micron-scale structural protein that has been used medically for bone grafts, tissue regeneration, reconstructive surgery and wound healing. Biofabrication is the automated production of tissues — often by 3D printing — to combine cells and fibers into a single construct that can replace diseased or injured tissue.
Embody is a privately-held company founded in 2014 and develops implantable medical devices to be used for orthopedics such as Achilles tendon, rotator cuff and knee ligament repair.