Tuesday, June 25, 2013

UAMS In The News

New Company Licenses Angel Eye’s Camera Tech from UAMS BioVentures

LITTLE ROCK – Angel Eye Camera Systems LLC, a new company, recently licensed Angel Eye™ technology from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) BioVentures, and received an important capital investment from a Nashville, Tenn., venture fund.

The Angel Eye system uses a camera placed at the baby’s bedside in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) so that parents and other family members who can’t be at the hospital can view the baby 24 hours a day. This system helps promote bonding between parents and their premature babies, who sometimes have to stay in the hospital for weeks or months.

Angel Eye Camera Systems LLC was organized in January 2013 to exclusively license this proprietary technology from UAMS.

“Our company is very excited to have licensed the underlying technology of the Angel Eye Camera System, which was conceptualized and developed at UAMS more than seven years ago and is now in its third generation of hardware and software,” said Steve Bethel, the company’s president and CEO. “We look forward to commercializing this innovative communication platform to connect patients, families and clinicians across a wide spectrum of health care settings.”

Nashville-based TriStar Technology Ventures recently has shown its confidence in Angel Eye technology and its appeal to hospitals and families by becoming one of the leading investors in Angel Eye Camera Systems.

“We believe our experience and network position us to be valuable investor partners,” said Christopher Rand, a TriStar co-founder and partner. “We have been working with UAMS and other organizations in Arkansas to identify investment opportunities and are excited about additional investment prospects.”

A Little Rock native, Rand grew up in Searcy and now lives in Nashville.

Typically, the process behind making a capital investment such as TriStar’s can take as long as six months but came together with Angel Eye Camera Systems in one month because of the professionalism and experience of the BioVentures team supporting it, Rand said.

TriStar is an early-stage venture fund that forms and invests in companies across the spectrum of health care innovation, life sciences, diagnostics, medical devices and technologies, health care IT and health care services.

In 2012, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority through its Arkansas Seed & Angel Capital Network program provided $500,000 to the firm’s TriStar Fund II. TriStar’s investment in Angel Eye Camera Systems is its first investment in a company in Arkansas. The ADFA program’s goal is to create a network of investors in Arkansas helping local entrepreneurs.

“Angel Eye is very fortunate to have partnered with TriStar Technology Ventures, which not only provides our company with important access to capital, but also offers an extensive network of health care contacts and significant operating knowledge of medical technologies,” Bethel said.

In 2006, UAMS created the first prototype for Angel Eye with webcams mounted on IV poles next to infant beds. A second-generation of the technology using a bed-mounted camera unit was developed in 2009. Three years later, Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Penn., became the first health care facility outside UAMS to deploy the technology.

UAMS established BioVentures and its Technology Licensing Office to facilitate the commercialization of UAMS technology and assist in the startup of new business enterprises based on UAMS technology that translates its research endeavors such as Angel Eye™ technology into products that benefit human health.

“UAMS and BioVentures are excited by Angel Eye Camera Systems’ strong start in its efforts to get Angel Eye into hospitals and the health care market,” said Ben Wofford, BioVentures director of business development. “We’re confident it will succeed and that more families will be able to connect with their babies thanks to the technology and the company that now is behind it.”

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 790 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.

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