Award-winning Life Science Biotechnology Company Prapela Coming to Maine
Prapela’s patented technology aids opioid-exposed babies and preemies.
(October 15, 2019) Portland, ME: Prapela, Inc., an award-winning life science biotechnology company focused on infant health, is moving its development and commercialization activities to Maine. Prapela has secured operational space in the Pepperell Mill Campus in Biddeford – a locational advantage that will allow the company to work closely with its two Maine-based manufacturing partners of Saunders Electronics in South Portland and Volk Packaging in Biddeford; relationships they’ve enjoyed for over two years. Prapela’s research elements will continue to be based in Massachusetts.
Prapela integrates its patented stochastic vibrotactile stimulation (SVS) into medical devices and consumer products. Prapela’s SVS is a gentle, non-habit-forming vibration that boosts the brain’s pacemaker neurons to support cardiorespiratory function. Stabilizing the neurons has been proven to enhance breathing, heart rate, and relaxation in infants. Published clinical studies report that Prapela’s SVS positively impacts newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and preemies suffering from apnea of prematurity.
“Establishing operations in Maine will accelerate product development and ultimately, our time to market,” said John Konsin, Prapela’s co-founder and CEO. “With our Maine-based manufacturing partners, we have a significant opportunity to produce a breakthrough device to help opioid-exposed babies and provide some much-needed relief for their caregivers. Additionally, we hope to speed up the release of our standard baby box – a product that encourages safe infant sleep practices.”
“Prapela’s investment in Biddeford will create good jobs in York County and help the company advance its innovative and critical work to address neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is particularly important as Maine continues to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I thank Prapela for moving its operations to Maine, welcome their contributions to our biotechnology sector, and look forward to their growth in the future.”
Maine & Co., a private, non-profit organization that helps businesses locate and expand in the state, worked with Prapela to help them identify and find the necessary attributes to develop and sustain a long-term operation in Maine.
“Prapela will continue to grow its manufacturing and commercialization capacity utilizing its current Maine-based partners Saunders Electronics and Volk Packaging,” said Ashley Pringle, Maine & Co.’s Vice President of Operations. “We were able to identify business assistance programs for Prapela, and we are pleased the company will significantly contribute to the state’s expanding life science biotechnology industry.”
Established in 2017, Prapela exclusively licensed patents from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital. To date, Prapela has won over $1.75M in grants and awards. During 2019, the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge and the NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded Prapela over $1.4M for its work with opioid-exposed newborns.
In response to these most-recent accolades, Prapela plans to add even more staff at its Biddeford location. “Initially, we will be seeking product development professionals in the biotechnology sector and experts to support our eCommerce and CRM platforms,” said Konsin. The company intends for an initial U.S.-only release of its products, with hopes of international exposure and expansion thereafter.
John Konsin will be the keynote speaker at the BioME 2019 Annual Conference on October 17, 2019, at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall in Portland.
Find out more about Prapela at: www.prapela.com .