SBIR and STTR Success Story for
SurModics, Inc.

(Information Posted/Updated on 09/09/2007)

SurModics, Inc.
9924 West 74th Street
Eden Prairie, MN  55344

Contact:    Phil Ankeny
Phone:      952-829-2707
Fax:          952-829-2743
Web Site:

Related Award(s):  R44 EY05152-02 (first of many SBIR grants SurModics received related to surface modification)
Technology Developed:
This initial grant was the first of several successful SBIR grants the culmination of which is SurModics’ PhotoLink® surface modification technology platform. This photochemical process improves medical device surface characteristics such as lubricity, hemocompatibility, infection resistance, biomolecule immobilization, and tissue integration. Coatings modify surface characteristics by either passivation to prevent undesirable biological responses, or by activation to incorporate a specific functionality or functionalities into the device/environment interface. PhotoLink technology allows device manufacturers to design products with the biocompatibility and functionality they require without sacrificing desired physical or dimensional properties. The proven success of the PhotoLink technology and process lies in its inherent simplicity, versatility, and consistently high performance.

Key Words:  Surface modification, Immobilization chemistry, Medical device coatings, Hemocompatibility, Cell encapsulation, Drug-eluting coatings, DNA immobilization, Photoactivation.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
The PhotoLink technology platform is widely commercialized for use on medical devices such as catheters, guidewires, pacemaker leads, coronary stents, etc. and also led to the successful development and commercialization of an activated slide for DNA immobilization. Additionally, the technology has been adapted for use in delivering drugs from the surface of a device as well as cell encapsulation and other tissue engineering applications.

Benefit to Company:
The initial project was successful, and along with several additional SBIR-sponsored projects, enabled SurModics to develop a surface modification technology platform which it now licenses to medical device manufacturers around the world. SurModics had its first profitable year in 1997 and became a public company in March 1998.

How Product Was Commercialized:
SurModics' strategy is to license its surface modification technology to medical device manufacturers who apply the coatings to products in their own facilities. By partnering with the world's leading medical device and biotechnology companies, SurModics has leveraged and expanded its core lubricious coating technology, and now offers a diverse portfolio of product-enhancing capabilities.

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
SurModics is working with companies in both the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to develop a broad array of drug-eluting coatings. There are many potential applications for combining drug delivery coatings with implantable medical devices for various uses within the human body. To date, the most notable achievements are:

The drug-eluting coating SurModics developed for the CYPHER™ Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent from Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company.

The license and research collaboration agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. to pursue the joint development and commercialization of the I-vation™ sustained delivery system with triamcinolone acetonide and other products that combine Merck's proprietary drug compounds with the I-vation system for the treatment of serious retinal diseases.

Collaboration with Paragon Intellectual Properties on the development of a novel stent system for the treatment of coronary artery disease. The stent system, which incorporates SurModics' Finale™ prohealing coating technology and Paragon's unique low-profile coronary stent system, is designed to address late stent thrombosis, a serious complication occurring in a small percentage of coronary stent cases.

The development of DNA microarray technology has provided a significant breakthrough in the understanding of human disease. Scientists at SurModics have created a unique hydrophilic gel coating formulated to securely attach and orient DNA strands to the surface of a glass slide to enable more efficient and consistent microarray results. Using SurModics coating technology, researchers can now attach the entire human genome, more than 40,000 individual DNA sequences, to a single glass slide.

Additionally, SurModics is working with Novocell, Inc. to develop islet cell encapsulation technology which allows insulin-producing cells to be transplanted into diabetic patients without the need for dangerous immune-suppressive drugs.