— RoddyMedical, an early-stage startup based in Wauwatosa, is gearing up to begin production of a wearable medical device after closing a $600,000 investment round.
Founder Lindsey Roddy created the business to solve a real-world patient safety issue she observed while working as a nurse in the intensive care unit. The SecureMove-TLC is a single-use device that organizes and secures cords, IVs and other medical tubing to avoid these lines getting tangled or accidentally removed during patient transport or treatment.
In one such case, one of Roddy’s patients’ life support lines was pulled out while the patient was being helped out of bed for post-surgery therapy. This “jarring experience” gave her the idea for the device, for which production will begin next month. It’s designed to be worn by the patient as an armband but can also be affixed to a hospital bed or IV pole.
The recently closed funding round included investments from the Winnebago Seed Fund, based in Neenah, and the Madison-based Winnow Fund, both of which were launched with support from the state-backed Badger Fund of Funds.
“Lindsey Roddy’s years of first-hand clinical experience and connections have driven the product and team forward and ensured that the product design meets the needs voiced by frontline healthcare workers,” said Richelle Martin, managing director of the Winnow Fund.
In a statement, Roddy notes that the company’s product manufacturing partners are based in the Midwest and were chosen to “purposefully support the state and region.” The wearable device has been developed with grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and support from the Regional National Science Foundation I-Corps program.
Pat Deno, chief operating officer for RoddyMedical, explained that the new funds will be used to scale up manufacturing and launch the product. Although the device can’t be piloted on patients until registration with the FDA is complete, she noted several hospitals in the Milwaukee area have already been provided prototypes. She says FDA approval is expected in early October.
Once the device is officially launched, Deno said the company will be selling directly to hospitals as well as original equipment manufacturers.
Listen to a recent podcast with Martin: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/wisbusiness-the-podcast-with-richelle-martin-managing-director-of-the-winnow-fund-2/
— July home sales in Wisconsin were 14 percent lower than in July 2020, the latest report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association shows.
In July 2021, 8,510 homes were sold in Wisconsin, compared to 9,915 in the previous July. And total statewide listings also decreased, falling 11 percent over the same period from 28,533 to 25,383.
Every region of the state saw a decrease in home sales over the year, though the more urban south-central and southeastern regions saw a smaller reduction, the report shows.
But on a year-to-date basis, existing home sales for the first seven months of this year have increased by 3.9 percent compared to the same period of 2020.
Meanwhile, the state’s median home price in July increased 10.7 percent over the year, from $225,900 to $250,000. Along with increased home prices, inventory levels for homes in Wisconsin decreased by about 21 percent over the same period.
“Housing demand conditions remain strong, fueled by very low mortgage rates and a growing economy,” said Michael Theo, president and CEO of the WRA. “However, the ongoing supply problems have pushed prices up at well above the rate of inflation, and this has reduced our affordability.”
— The state has proposed a $92.7 million homeowner financial assistance program.
The Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program would seek to “mitigate financial hardships” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent foreclosures, mortgage delinquencies and loss of utility services.
“We know this type of program is sorely needed to help folks keep a roof over their heads, and will be key to helping Wisconsin homeowners bounce back,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a release.
If approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, the program would be funded under the American Rescue Plan Act’s federal homeowner assistance fund. State officials will hold two virtual public hearings on the proposed program on Aug. 31, the release shows.
— Gov. Tony Evers has announced that any Wisconsin resident getting a first COVID-19 shot between Aug. 20 and Sept. 6 will receive a $100 Visa gift card.
Minnesota’s similar incentive program issued gift cards to more than 55,000 newly vaccinated people between July 30 and Aug. 22 with $16.3 million authorized to meet demand. More than 50 percent of Wisconsinites are vaccinated against COVID-19, but Evers said that’s not enough.
“We are no longer in the fight against COVID-19. This is now a fight against the delta variant and all the potential variants that could follow,” Evers said during a press conference yesterday. “And frankly, while 50 percent is leaps and bounds from where we started, it’s not where we should be.”
Those eligible for the reward can fill out a form on the state health department website.
It’s the second COVID-19 vaccine incentive Evers has announced. During the Wisconsin State Fair, those who received a dose at an on-site clinic received a voucher for a free cream puff. Over the 11-day fair, 608 doses were administered.
Rick Abrams, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Health Care Association and Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living, says the organization supports the idea.
“Anything that will cause someone to be vaccinated for his/her protection, his/her family’s protection and to help his/her community is most welcome,” he said in an email.
Wisconsin Medical Society CEO Dr. Bud Chumbley also emphasized the need to get more people in the state vaccinated against COVID-19.
“With the FDA granting full approval for the Pfizer vaccine and incentive programs like the Governor’s announcement, we can avoid preventable infections, hospitalizations and deaths while reducing additional strain on the health care delivery system,” he said in a statement.
— State pharmaceutical product exports for the first half of 2021 were nearly 68 percent higher than in the first half of last year, the Wisconsin Trade Data Report shows.
Businesses in the state exported about $274 million in pharmaceuticals between January and June of this year, compared to around $163 million for the same period last year. Some of that increase was driven by higher levels of purchases by France and China, both of which rose by around 165 percent over the year.
Meanwhile, the larger category of medical and scientific instrument exports increased by about 15 percent, rising from $932 million to over $1.07 billion. About 27 percent of those exports were X-ray devices and 25 percent were medical, surgical, dental and veterinary instruments.
China is the “leading purchaser” for this category, as exports to the country increased by about 40 percent over the year, the report shows.
The report is created by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.
See more from the report: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/state-exports-up-18-percent-in-first-half-of-2021/
— A new research center at UW-Madison will conduct studies on medical applications of psychoactive compounds.
Those compounds include MDMA, marijuana and psilocybin, the active component in so-called “magic mushrooms.”
Paul Hutson, the center’s founding director and UW-Madison School of Pharmacy professor, calls these compounds “the new frontier for potential new therapies and medications.”
The Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances in the university’s pharmacy school will also conduct research on the history and cultural impact of these substances, according to a release.
Psychedelic research studies have been ongoing at the university since 2014, but the new center will expand the scope of these efforts. Studies have been exploring the benefits of these compounds in treating PTSD, depression and substance abuse disorders. The release shows four clinical trials are currently taking place in preparation of submitting applications to the Food and Drug Administration.
“I anticipate FDA approval of psilocybin and MDMA within the next five years, and the UW Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances will help meet the need for more research into these applications, as well as others, that could dramatically improve patients’ lives,” Hutson said in a statement.
He notes that prior psychedelic research studies have lacked diversity in their participants, and the new center will seek to improve the representation of “minorities, elderly, and marginalized groups” in future studies.
— A startup called Betterbin recently won the Doyenne Group’s 5x5x5 pitch event, earning a $5,000 seed grant.
The Wausau company, founded by Michelle Goetsch in 2018, harnesses data to make localized recycling, composting and food waste prevention education relevant, convenient and accessible to all consumers.
The other competitors in last week’s contest were Green Pastures Living, Melius Outcomes, Pill Skills and Lovin The Skin I’m In. Per the contest rules, all entrants were Wisconsin-based ventures that are majority-owned by a woman or women.
See more at Madison Startups: https://www.madisonstartups.com/betterbin-wins-2021-doyennes-5x5x5/
— An upcoming WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com virtual event will explore how international relationships and trade lead to economic growth.
The free virtual lunchtime event is being held Sept. 8 and will feature remarks from former lawmakers Mark Green of Green Bay, who now heads the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and Tom Loftus of Sun Prairie, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Norway and on the UW System Board of Regents.
# Wisconsin nursing homes weigh vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge
# On Monroe Street, Garth’s Brew Bar encourages beer experimentation
# Grafton maker of Covid-19 test swabs could create 80 jobs with expansion
– August dairy situation and outlook report
– USDA to survey local small grains acreage, production
– Evers creating homeowners assistance program
– 1 month after child tax credits expanded to more families, food insecurity drops 24 percent
# HEALTH CARE
– Newly vaccinated Wisconsin residents to get $100
– Wisconsin will give you $100 if you get a COVID-19 vaccine by labor day
– Lawsuit claims Generac execs misled investors ahead of recall
# REAL ESTATE
– Herzing University to move headquarters, 180 workers to The Avenue downtown
– Herzing University to move its HQ to The Avenue in downtown Milwaukee
– Watch now: Retail on the rise as back-to-school shopping heats up
– Off the hook: power line opponents drop demands to inspect former regulator’s phone
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: