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Innovation & Job News

New Philly HQ for medical device firm Echo Therapeutics, hiring 25

Medical device company Echo Therapeutics has set up corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, and plans to hire 25 employees in the next year, according to CEO Patrick Mooney. The company is developing two devices, Prelude and Symphony, which offer a painless alternative to both blood glucose monitoring and drug delivery. The company has just announced the appointment of a CFO, creating a third member of the management team.

Life as a diabetic involves the sight of one's own blood, and a little bit of discomfort every time the needle pierces skin. Now imagine that part of the equation removed, replaced with a needle-free mechanism that can test blood sugar levels transdermally. Echo's Synmphony device gathers information transdermally and transmits it wirelessly.

"The tip looks like a little thimble, and there's a microprocessor inside the device that calculates the level of resistance. The thimble spins, removing dead skin. You don't feel anything, but it stops when it gets to live skin. Now you are literally on top of blood vessels and nerve endings, just microns away from live tissue," explains Mooney, a former surgeon who left medicine to work on Wall Street, and is now marrying his two career paths at the helm of the life sciences startup.

Echo's other device is a transdermal drug delivery system. The Prelude also takes advantage of that exact spot at the juncture of dead and live tissue to get drugs to the body without needles. Right now, the Prelude is being tested with lidocaine, a numbing agent, but the possibilities are vast.

The technology for the Prelude and Symphony was developed at MIT in Massachusetts by Dr. Bob Langer, and the manufacturing side of the business will remain in the Boston area. "I am from Philadelphia originally," says Pat Mooney of the corporate move to this area. "Philadelphia is in a great spot for biotech." Mooney calls the city a sweet spot for his pre-revenue company, citing the proximity of major pharmaceuticals, money managers in New York City, regulators in Washington, DC, and labs in Boston. Echo has just released its first quarter results, showing positive numbers across the board.

Source: Patrick Mooney, MD, Echo Therapeutics
Writer: Sue Spolan
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