Medical device startup Lapovations LLC of Fayetteville recently announced it has been registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), launched its flagship product AbGrab and recorded the first U.S. sale of the product.
AbGrab is a medical device that is used to lift the abdominal wall at the start of laparoscopic surgery. Existing lifting techniques can be unreliable or invasive, and AbGrab is expected to be more reliable and less invasive, according to a news release.
“Our goals at Lapovations include improving surgical outcomes for patients and improving satisfaction for surgeons performing laparoscopies,” said Jared Greer, co-founder and CEO for Lapovations. “We are confident that the FDA registration and U.S. launch of AbGrab are huge steps toward achieving those goals. Long-term, we believe AbGrab can become the gold standard for abdominal wall lifting at the start of laparoscopic surgery.”
The startup has raised nearly $2 million since it was formed in the graduate-level New Venture Development course co-taught by Carol Reeves and Sarah Goforth with the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Arkansas. In September, the company received a $999,429 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant followed the award of a $225,000 NSF SBIR Phase I grant in 2019.
In 2018, Lapovations became the most successful startup competition team in UA history after winning seven state, regional and national business plan competitions, placing second in two others and earning more than $305,000 in cash and investment prizes, the release shows. Lapovations also has received a $50,000 grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and participated in two competitive Arkansas accelerator programs, the Delta I-Fund and Health InnovatAR, now HealthTech Arkansas, which provided an additional $100,000 in combined investment along with mentorships for Lapovations and introductions to stakeholders in the startup and medical communities.