At University Technology Park we’re proud of the healthy impact our growing companies have on the local and national economy.

Jobs and futures are created here. But even more exciting to us is the realization that concepts developed here will help save lives around the world.

Earlier this month we celebrated when the European Resuscitation Council published the first patient-based data on Advanced Cooling Therapy’s revolutionary medical device.

ACT’s technology helps manage patient temperatures in situations where seconds can make a crucial difference. The device can be used to reduce or manage patient temperatures following a heart attack, stroke, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, among others.

Action to control body temperatures has proven effective in reducing mortality and loss of body functions when severe stroke or heart attack limits blood flow to the brain and body. But until now, clinically approved methods were slow to take effect and awkward to use.

Dr. Erik Kulstad and his team, who moved to UTP in 2012, have created a patented solution for use in the emergency room, recovery room or intensive care that’s now available in Europe, Canada and Australia. (Learn more in this video.)

FDA approval is expected sometime this year, which will put the device within reach of emergency room personnel across the U.S. Erik and his colleagues have worked tirelessly to reach this point – and we are grateful for the opportunity to provide lab space and support for them.

Fueling drug development and medical investigation

ACT is joined by many other UTP startups whose ideas will advance medical science and revolutionize patient care.

Unique, label-free assays developed by SAMDI Tech, Inc. provide rapid, accurate results for researchers working on new drug therapies. The technology reduces false positives and negatives while shrinking assay development times, helping pharmaceuticals makers move faster in bringing new therapies to trial stage and, ultimately, to patients.

Sword Diagnostics is also helping pharma companies increase R&D productivity. Sword’s proprietary technologies increase the speed and efficiency of drug development by improving testing throughout the process. Sword’s patented ELISA Booster, a sensitive, high-performance, plug-and-play testing platform uses the same test design and instrumentation now in wide use, allowing for easy adoption and faster development of new therapies.

MedTech BioScience has developed a split-specimen urine cup lined with a polymer that detects markers for specific prescription drugs – an invaluable tool for researchers who need to be sure patients involved in trials have followed the prescribed drug regimen.

The company is also working with Alexian Brothers Health System on initial tests of a clear-film detection patch that, when applied to the skin, can indicate alcohol use by flagging ethanol in perspiration. Clinicians will use the patch in their work with substance abuse patients.

Why life sciences are the heart of what we do

Working in partnership with iBIO PROPEL, Chicago Innovation Mentors, EnterpriseWorks Chicago, ChicagoCIE and the newly opened MATTER, our goal is to be the premier launchpad for med tech and life sciences startups who are ready to prove their concepts in a lab setting.

All startups at our incubator benefit from IIT’s commitment to life sciences, reflected in the well-known work of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, the university’s biology and chemistry programs, and the IIT Research Institute (IITRI). Together, these organizations provide our startups with access to top-notch undergrad and grad student workers, faculty consultants and sophisticated analytical equipment. These resources go a long way in helping them move their innovative ideas out into the world – to the potential benefit of millions.