Only 54% of rheumatoid arthritis patients continue their therapy properly after one year, according to medical start-up Recon Therapeutics. Identifying two key problems faced by these patients—compliance and convenience—Recon has created a user-friendly device for self-administering biologic injections. The technology has landed its founders on Inc. magazine’s list of “50 Emerging Global Entrepreneurs to Watch.”
Recon Therapeutics was cofounded by Christopher Lee, Benjamin Maimon, and Ho-Jun Suk, PhD candidates in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. The concept for their device was conceived during a course in medical device design, taught by Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alex Slocum ’82, PhD ’85. Slocum now serves as an advisor to the company.
Recon’s LyoKit Drug Reconstitution System relieves the patient of the responsibility of mixing and measuring their drugs. A compounding pharmacy sets the dosage; patients receive a standard syringe with an external pressurized water chamber, allowing for a one-step reconstitution process. A self-contained alcohol swab allows for easy sterilization and also serves as a sharps disposal container, reducing needle safety mishaps.
The Recon Therapeutics team was a winner of the 2014 MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, and has also been honored with a Medical Design Excellence Award. Additional members of the Recon team include graduate student John Lewandowski and Babak Movassaghi MBA ’14.