The Global Center for Health Innovation this month welcomed digital health startup Qr8 Health and medical device company Enspire DBS Therapy as its newest tenants, which will share a suite with an initial local staff of eight. Qr8 Health’s move to the Global Center also relocates the company to Cleveland from Boston. Both companies were created using technologies developed at Cleveland Clinic and are led by serial healthcare entrepreneur Vince Owens, a 25-year veteran of the medical device industry, who has launched and exited several successful healthcare startups.
“We are excited to welcome Qr8 Health and Enspire DBS Therapy to the Global Center community,” says Aram Nerpouni, president and CEO of BioEnterprise, which leads the Global Center’s strategic direction. “It’s a reflection of the growing vibrancy of our region and a big win for Cleveland for a growing startup like Qr8 to return home from Boston.”
Enspire DBS Therapy, based on the work of Dr. Andre Machado, chairman of the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic, utilizes deep brain stimulation (DBS) in combination with rehabilitation therapy for post-stroke recovery to improve or restore patients’ arm function after a stroke. The company is financially backed by strategic partner Boston Scientific and Cleveland Clinic. Pre-clinical testing has demonstrated a 30% to 50% improvement in motor function for stroke survivors. The company is actively recruiting post-stroke patients for clinical trials, which are taking place at Cleveland Clinic.
Qr8 Health is a digital health company that uses mobile technology to assess the major motor, visual and cognitive symptoms for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Based on the work of Jay Alberts, Ph.D., and his colleagues in the Neural Control Laboratory at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, Qr8’s assessments are self-administered by the patient, and collect data over time that can be used by clinicians to guide a treatment approach. It also allows for aggregation of data that can help physicians study treatment effectiveness in large patient populations. The company’s software is currently widely used in the routine management of MS, and Qr8 is pursuing ways to use the technology in the detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and heart failure.
“Qr8’s technology enhances patient care through comprehensive digital assessment of major symptoms,” said Jay Alberts, Ph.D., Qr8 founder. “Qr8’s software is integrated into the electronic health record (EHR), which reduces documentation time and allows the physician to spend more time practicing medicine.”
“We are very pleased to establish headquarters for Qr8 Health and Enspire DBS Therapy at the Global Center for Health Innovation,” said Owens, Qr8’s CEO and co-founder. “The move puts us closer to our inventors and collaborators while being in the center of the growing and vibrant medical technology startup community in downtown Cleveland.”
Owens’ past startups include Intelect Medical, a DBS technology company spun out of Cleveland Clinic in 2005 and acquired by Boston Scientific in 2011. Owens is also a founder and managing general partner of the medical device accelerator and seed funder Guide Medical Ventures.
“The addition of Qr8 Health and Enspire DBS Therapy to the Global Center for Health Innovation is a great win,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “Having ground-breaking companies relocating to Cleveland is exactly aligned with our vision for the Global Center. I am pleased to welcome Vince and his employees to the center.”
“It’s our mission to create and sustain a vibrant healthcare-focused innovation hub at the Global Center, and Vince and his team are bringing fresh energy and talent to our growing community,” says Matt McBride, BioEnterprise’s vice president of the Global Center for Health Innovation.
Qr8 Health and Enspire DBS Therapy join other recent Global Center additions including TPA Stream, which has doubled in size to 25 employees in the last six months, CavoGene LifeSciences out of San Diego, Public Insight and North Coast Angel Fund.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL CENTER FOR HEALTH INNOVATION
The Global Center for Health Innovation is a one-of-a-kind healthcare-focused innovation hub located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. The community brings together entrepreneurs, investors, healthcare institutions, advisors and industry leaders to facilitate collaboration, discovery and partnerships that have the power to transform healthcare. The Global Center is also a place where thousands of industry leaders come annually from across the world for dozens of events, including seminars that tackle tough healthcare challenges, clinical and industry conferences, healthcare startup pitch competitions and other industry-building initiatives.
BioEnterprise is a business formation, recruitment, and acceleration effort designed to grow the Northeast Ohio healthcare industry. Located in Cleveland, at the Global Center for Health Innovation and in University Circle, BioEnterprise provides management counsel and support services to health IT, medical device, and biopharmaceutical companies. BioEnterprise partners include Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System and University Hospitals. Since 2002, BioEnterprise and its partners have created, recruited and accelerated more than 350 health IT, medical device, and biopharmaceutical companies, and have helped these companies raise more than $3 billion in new funding. To learn more: www.BioEnterprise.com.
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications