The MDC Studio the operational unit of the Maryland Development Center Partnership, has spun-off Sonosa Medical Inc as an independent entity. Founded in 2019, Sonosa Medical is developing wearable ultrasound imaging and therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

According to Sonosa’s website, the wearable ultrasound system can provide a direct visual of obstructions during normal sleep, so surgeons know precisely where to target every procedure. It is also using research into ultrasound-based therapeutics to bring a new treatment for OSA to market.

The company is led by Stephen Restaino, PhD, as CEO, Jeffrey Wolf, MD as medical advisor, and Gil Blankenship, PhD, as chairman of the board. Their work has been funded by a $3.35 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Restaino is also the director of engineering and a partner at the MDC Studio, and has been involved in developing every technology at the MDC Studio since joining in 2017. Wolf is a Partner at the MDC Studio, as well as a professor of otorhinolaryngology – head and neck surgery and Program in Oncology at the University of Maryland Medical System. Blankenship is the founder and CEO of the MDC Studio, and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. The MDC Studio is dedicated to building health and medical technology companies based on intellectual property from research programs in Maryland.

“Stephen has played a critical role in developing the Sonosa technology and launching the company, and the MDC Studio looks forward to continuing to support the team and develop devices to revolutionize the treatment pathway for almost one billion patients worldwide with OSA,” Blankenship says in a release.

Restaino says in a release, “Support from the MDC Studio has been critical to the success of the Sonosa project and to the development of the Sonosa Medical company. The MDC Studio’s structure of engineering development complemented by business development and support services has allowed Sonosa Medical to develop both its technology and its company structure in parallel.”