University Medical Devices Raised $1.6M to Launch the MicroWash Device for Nasal Specimen Collection

University Medical Devices (UMD) closed a $1.6M round of seed funding to bring its first product, MicroWash, to market. The device provides a more effective method of nasal specimen collection compared to nasal swabs to diagnose respiratory illness, including COVID-19.

University Medical Devices (UMD) closed a $1.6M round of seed funding led by Bright Minds Capital Partners, with participation from Invest Nebraska, AV Legacy Holdings, LLC and UMD executives.

The company plans to use the funds to bring its first product, MicroWash, to market. MicroWash was developed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a less invasive alternative to nasal swabs for the collection of high-quality nasal specimens for diagnosing respiratory illness.

The MicroWash system can be administered by a healthcare provider or by the patient themself with minimal training needed. It allows for more comfortable and efficient specimen collection that leads to more accurate test results, according to the company’s website.

The technology was developed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center through its commercialization arms, UNeMed/UNetech. UMD was a participant in the 2022 NMotion Growth Accelerator, which played a key role in advancing the concept.

The UMD leadership team includes experts in neurology, emergency medicine, telehealth, urgent care, primary care, healthcare startups and healthcare regulation. Team members also possess specialized expertise in biocontainment and pandemic medicine, and were among the first to oversee isolation care and serial testing for COVID-19 patients returning to the U.S. at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Having our seed round close fully funded is a testament to investors’ belief in our concepts, recognizing we’re a trailblazer in how upper respiratory infection samples are collected for testing,” said James Young, UMD founder and CEO. “It demonstrates confidence in UMD’s ability to impact national and global health security, as well as faith in our top-tier executive and inventor team.”

The MicroWash collection system is especially critical for high-risk populations and has potential to mitigate the impact of future pandemics by improving the diagnosis process for respiratory infections.

“At Bright Minds, we support truly visionary ideas,” said Bright Minds Capital Partners Executive Chairman David Holme. “UMD’s devices stand to evolve healthcare diagnostics for the better. We’re confident in the impact and longevity of the company’s future—from MicroWash and beyond.”

UMD leadership said the funds will be used to cover expenses related to advancing UMD’s infrastructure, including regulatory, medical, legal, manufacturing, packaging, sales and marketing costs. They anticipate the MicroWash device will be commercially available later this year for medical supply distributors, national reference laboratories, health systems and health plans, as well as municipal and federal government agencies.

The company plans to develop additional devices for medical sample collection in the coming years.

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