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Georgia Tech Alum Leads Company Developing a Novel Technology to Deliver Therapy to Hard-to-Reach ..

Wednesday, August 30, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristen Pappaterra
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Georgia Tech Alum Leads Company Developing a Novel Technology to Deliver Therapy to Hard-to-Reach Targets in the Body


Benjamin Shapiro, an alum of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Bachelor of Science with highest honors, 1995) is leading a team at Otomagnetics LLC ( to commercialize a novel drug delivery technology. The technology works like a syringe, but instead of a needle there is a magnetic field that transports bio-degradable therapeutic nano-particles through tissue barriers to the targets behind them. “There are many targets in the body that are not reached by current medical care, or would otherwise require invasive procedures or surgeries to reach. Our pre-clinical testing demonstrates that we can deliver therapy to those targets non-invasively, without needles or surgery” explains Dr. Shapiro.

The team at Otomagnetics includes engineers, chemists and biologists, clinicians, business development and regulatory experts. The ‘magnetic injection’ technology(pre-clinical) has been shown to deliver therapy (drugs, proteins, or genes) to compartments of the ear, into eyes, and through the skin, without needles or surgery. It is being developed to deliver therapy to the cochlea, to the middle ear to treat recurrent or chronic middle ear infections without tympanostomy tube surgeries (the most common pediatric surgery in the United States), and to deliver therapy into the eye without needle injections (e.g. for macular degeneration). Shapiro credits his original training at Georgia Tech for enabling the invention and development of the technology: “I got my start in research at Georgia Tech. That was the first time I got into a research lab environment, and had a chance to find new answers to open questions. Working with the professors and students at Georgia Tech, that was the foundation”.

Research and development at the company has been supported by major grants from the National Institutes of Health, by investments from the Action on Hearing Loss in the UK, the State of Maryland (where the company is based), and by a physician backed investment group ( ). Otomagnetics is first focusing on conditions of the cochlea and middle ear (hearing loss, tinnitus, middle ear infections) and of the eye (macular degeneration), for which magnetic injection has shown strong therapeutic benefit in pre-clinical studies. Each of these conditions affects millions of patients every year. “Our goal is simple” says Shapiro who in 2006 was selected to the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni for Georgia Tech, “we want to use engineering to address pressing unmet clinical needs and improve the lives of patients”.


Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” concerning the development of the company’s products, the potential benefits and attributes of such products, and the company’s expectations regarding its prospects. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to differ materially from such statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results may vary.  Otomagnetics undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements for any reason. 

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