A fresh funding injection for an Overland Park-based medical device company is expected to help the startup’s products clear federal regulatory hurdles, as well as advance and expand its research and development efforts.
Love Lifesciences is on a mission to revolutionize the patient injection experience to make medications both easier and safer to use, said co-founder Nick Love. The company recently closed a $1 million pre-seed round, led by Kansas-based angel investors and the GROWKS investment group.
“We have redesigned the injection experience, providing patients complete injection control while limiting opportunity for error,” explained Love, noting Love Lifesciences is developing a series of devices aimed at reducing unnecessary pain — and the anxiety and fear it often evokes.
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The medical device company — co-founded by Love and Bradley Hopper in 2021 — has two public products with a third currently in research and development, Love said. Love Lifesciences’ lead product is the UniPen, a single-use injection device. The UniPen grants patients the control over the speed of their injection process and aims to reduce anxiety with a never-seen needle and no loud clicks or jolts. Once used, the needle is locked in the UniPen and the product can be disposed of.
The MultiPen (currently in R&D) is a multiuse injection device that allows for time-gated access to injectables, which can prevent overdosing or underdosing on the injectable therapeutics.
“Our third product, that’s in deep R&D, is a bit on the health data [and] insurance side,” Love said, teasing out the upcoming product.
Love Lifesciences’ products aim to not only help patients, but also aim to provide benefits for pharmaceutical partners, Love continued. UniPen’s design accommodates ISO Standard prefilled syringes and targets a reduction in the risk of prolonging therapeutic regulatory submissions as an Off-the-Shelf product.
“Pharma genuinely cares about the patient; they care about adherence,” Love said. “But the rate of return on improving adherence is pretty difficult, especially with the injection devices. So pharma’s big kicker with the injection device space is the cost and the timeline to get product to market. … [UniPen] is a better, cheaper upfront alternative, but it also can derisk the regulatory process.”
$1M pre-seed round
As part of its GROWKS and angel investment, Love Lifesciences collected an initial investment of $600,000 and will receive the remaining $400,000 after achieving agreed commitments.
“We are utilizing the funds for our verification and validation testing of our UniPen device for FDA regulation purposes,” Love said. “we’re working with the University of Kansas, to do all the bench testing on the device to prove that it works the way we say it does. We will be testing just over 3,000 different devices in a slew of different tests.
Love and Hopper are ensuring that they have a solid go-to-market strategy, as their next steps will be meeting with potential pharmaceutical partners to discuss how UniPen is different from other products and how it can be integrated with their therapeutics and clinical trials.
“We’ll be forming this what we’re calling the data package — it’s this file of all the information about our UniPen injection device that would be required for regulatory submission,” Love noted. “A large portion of funding is going toward building out that data package.”
Additionally, funds will be used for the expansion of R&D on the MultiPen injection device with extension of the intellectual property portfolio of the device. They will also continue development on Love Lifesciences third product.
Prior to the $1 million pre-seed round, Love Lifesciences received a $25,000 grant from Digital Sandbox KC and another $20,000 from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Including other funds from its friends and family round, Love Lifesciences has raised $1.2 million in funding since its inception in 2021.
Inspired to make a difference
Love initially became interested in the medical field after his mother was diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer when Love was still a child, he shared.
“There were no real cures for the disease at the time,” Love recalled. “She was enrolled in a clinical studies trial at [University of Kansas] after two separate physicians said there was really nothing that they could do. The clinical trial ultimately saved her life.”
While studying to become a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Love was working in a medicinal chemistry lab developing cancer therapeutics.
“I realized that there was much more going into saving somebody like my mom than just the doctor,” Love said. “I presented some work at KU’s Cancer Center and met the physician that treated my mom. It was really one of those moments that led me down the path of thinking that there’s something going on with medical entrepreneurship.”
Love pursued a Master’s in Business at KU while also completing his MD.
The North Star for Love Lifesciences is a forever moving goalpost, Love said, noting that he plans to continue building on their accomplishments.
“The goal of every participant in this company is: let’s go out there and make these products successful while helping save lives and improve people’s lives,” Love said. “Do this right the first time. Once we have that all done, we can go back and do this again over the course of our entire careers.”