Posted February 8, 2018
MD Momentum Fund Backs Stroke Recovery Firm
The University System of Maryland (USM) has selected NextStep Robotics, a startup company that has developed a personalized robotic therapy to help relieve discomforts of “foot drop” syndrome in recovering stroke patients, as recipient of the second investment from the recently established Maryland Momentum Fund.
The robotic therapy is based on research in the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), the Baltimore Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, and the A. James Clark College of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).
As part of an initial funding round of $750,000, the Maryland Momentum Fund is contributing $250,000. The USM Board of Regents established the fund to enable the system to invest in and support promising commercial opportunities arising from advances in research and intellectual property at USM campuses. Other critical sources in the funding round include money from four investors connected to the Fort Capital investment group in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We are very pleased the Maryland Momentum Fund has been able to once again broaden the base of co-investors and a university startup, this time to include an international consortium,” said David Wise, director of the Maryland Momentum Fund.
A Baltimore company, NextStep Robotics is developing the first effective treatment option for foot drop to help stroke survivors and others regain mobility using clinically proven rehabilitation training.
This treatment option serves a growing national need, with 5 million stroke survivors in the United States and 800,000 new strokes per year. Those with the condition have a limit on mobility that inhibits them from lifting their toe while walking — placing them at risk for a fall. Foot drop also often afflicts people with diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.