Written by Kevin Volz.
Making temperature management safe, efficient and as effective as possible is the goal of Mercury Biomed located in Cleveland, Ohio. With the help of a $1.4 million Commercial Acceleration loan from Ohio Third Frontier, the company is working towards FDA clearance on two new devices, called SmartCool and SmartWarm, that can quickly cool or warm the human body in important medical situations.
“When a patient suffers an interruption in blood flow caused by incidents such as a stroke, heart attack or traumatic brain/spinal injury, first responders and emergency doctors want to cool the patient’s body as quickly as possible to prevent further complications and preserve the brain and other vital organs,” said Brad Pulver, CEO of Mercury Biomed. “During surgery, the application of anesthesia inhibits the body’s ability to maintain its normal body temperature. Medical teams are required by law to bring the patient’s body temperature back to normal to reduce potential adverse effects. Our devices can help accomplish both of these objectives.”
The company first developed a small device, targeted toward patients recovering from orthopedic surgery, that could heat or cool a small amount of water very quickly. “In a matter of minutes, we could heat water to 125 degrees or cool it down to 35 degrees, barely above freezing,” said Pulver. “We knew there would be several applications where this technology would be useful, so that’s where we started.”
As for location, Pulver was insistent on calling the Cleveland area home. “There was no question this is where we wanted to be. The Cleveland area is a great place to live and raise a family and there is an incredible amount of resources available for entrepreneurs, particularly in the biotech and medical fields.”
From downtown Cleveland, researchers are within a few miles radius of world-class medical facilities like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. There are also interested and motivated venture capitalists, said Pulver. That’s in addition to remarkable technology-focused economic development initiatives and organizations like Ohio Third Frontier and Cleveland’s BioEnterprise.
“The dedication to innovation is incredible here,” said Pulver. While the company’s core products deal with the principles of going from hot to cold, the team was never lukewarm about doing business in Ohio. “This is home and we have incredible opportunities here that we might never get anywhere else,” said Pulver.
With FDA clearance, Mercury’s Smart Temperature Management products could be heating up the medical market in less than a year.