University Medical Devices (UMD) has closed its first round of seed funding after raising $1.6 million to develop its MicroWash nasal specimen collection device for diagnosing upper respiratory infections.

UMD brings to market cutting-edge healthcare technology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its commercialization wings UNeMed/UNeTech.

The company developed the MicroWash device at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and believes it can play a pivotal role in addressing the challenges posed by the flu, COVID and RSV “tripledemic.”

MicroWash is a nasopharyngeal irrigation device designed to collect specimens from the nose and provides a less invasive alternative to nasal swabs for labs, patients and healthcare providers, according to the product’s website.

Funds are earmarked to advance UMD’s infrastructure, covering regulatory, medical, legal, manufacturing, packaging, sales and marketing. This funding round represents a major step toward UMD achieving profitability and sustainability, with a strong emphasis on bringing its first product – MicroWash – to market.

“Having our seed round close fully funded is a testament to investors’ belief in our concepts, recognizing we’re a trailblazer in how upper respiratory infection samples are collected for testing,” said James Young, UMD Founder and CEO. “It demonstrates confidence in UMD’s ability to impact national and global health security, as well as faith in our top-tier executive and inventor team.”

“At Bright Minds, we support truly visionary ideas. UMD’s team of experts fit the bill,” said David Holme, Executive Chairman of Bright Minds Capital Partners. “UMD’s devices stand to evolve healthcare diagnostics for the better. We’re confident in the impact and longevity of the company’s future – from MicroWash and beyond.”

Looking ahead, UMD is set to launch an aggressive sales campaign in the first half of 2024 to medical supply distributors, national reference laboratories, health systems and health plans as well as municipal and federal government agencies, with device availability anticipated later this year. Prospective customers and stakeholders can expect multiple paradigm-shifting sample collection products from UMD in the coming years.