Bergen County-Based Acuitive Technologies Finds Value in New Jersey Funding Programs, Collaboration with NJIT
TRENTON, N.J. (June 7, 2018) – Medical device maker Acuitive Technologies is reaping the benefits of locating in New Jersey as it ramps up development of orthopedic implants. The early-stage company has leveraged resources from both the State and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) as it continues to grow.
From its headquarters in Allendale and its lab space at NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center (EDC), the company strives to offer patients cost-effective tissue regeneration products for musculoskeletal injury or disease. The company’s focused approach on implant device innovation is aimed at improving the body’s natural ability to maintain or regrow healthy tissue through development of “resorbable” materials, which can be safely broken down and absorbed by the body over time.
Acuitive, which opened its doors in 2013, is developing a resorbable, synthetic material it says is unlike anything currently found on the market. The company anticipates submitting its first application for United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance by the end of 2018.
Acuitive Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer Dave Washburn is quick to point out that his company would not be where it is today without New Jersey’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program, also commonly referred to as the Net Operating Loss (NOL) Program.
“When it comes to raising capital, applying to the NOL Program was an obvious choice,” Washburn said. “I learned about the NOL Program in the early 2000s and initially experienced the positive impact it can have when I co-founded a previous company. I knew if I was ever involved with starting another new company, I would again turn to the program for support.”
Heralded as a lifeline for technology and life sciences companies in the early, unprofitable stages, the NOL Program enables eligible businesses to sell New Jersey net operating losses and unused research and development (R&D) tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations for cash. The money can be used for working capital or to fund research. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation administer the program. Qualified New Jersey technology and life sciences companies have until June 30 to apply for this year. The online application can be found at https://www.njeda.gov/nol.
Acuitive also benefited from more than $4.2 million in investments made by investors who participated in the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. The program offers a 10 percent refundable tax credit against New Jersey individual income tax for qualified investments in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in the State and that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the State. Since the program’s inception in 2013, the EDA has approved 929 applications for investments in 65 New Jersey-based businesses totaling more than $332 million.
In addition to financial resources, Acuitive also benefits from renting lab space within NJIT’s EDC, the university’s high-tech accelerator/incubator and home to over 80 startups and small businesses. At the EDC, Acuitive has access to top-notch testing facilities to further its research. The company is also sponsoring university research to develop 3D printing of Acuitive’s material.
“New Jersey has much to offer early-stage technology and life sciences companies, and we are taking steps to ensure our support of innovative companies keeps pace with their needs,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said. “Acuitive is an excellent example of the cutting-edge technologies emerging from the Garden State with potential for global impact.”
Collectively, Acuitive’s four-person management team has over 160 years of orthopedic experience. Team members have been involved with six successful exits from companies they either helped found or otherwise contributed to their success. Acuitive also benefits from the expertise of Michael A. Kelly, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Hackensack Meridian Health. Dr. Kelly serves on Acuitive’s Advisory Board.
@NJEDATech talked to Washburn about Acuitive’s experience in New Jersey and its plans for the future:
How has Acuitive most benefitted from the NOL and Angel Investor Tax Credit programs?
We are in a business regulated by the FDA and the time to market, especially with a new biomaterial, can be extensive. Having creative funding sources offered by the state has helped us both attract accredited investors and bridge the time required to commercialization. It also helps us hire an employee base we might not otherwise be able to.
What do you consider Acuitive’s biggest success to date?
Attracting qualified people to confirm our new biomaterial’s capability and begin all the testing required for regulatory clearance is one of our greatest successes. The test results to date continue to confirm our belief that using this new biomaterial for orthopedic implants will benefit our ultimate customers: the patients!
What’s on the horizon for Acuitive?
We are currently engaged in discussions with strategic partner candidates that have mature distribution organizations. We expect to leave 2018 with a relationship in place that will allow us to bring these exciting new devices to the market in 2019 once clearance is received from the FDA. In addition, both a strategic alliance relationship and our first product clearance will allow our employee team to focus on new forms of this biomaterial, expanding its potential.