Measuring Airway Smooth Muscle

Request Number REQ6332157
Due Date March 21, 2017
Author Seh-Rin Sung
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Measuring Airway Smooth Muscle
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing Boston Scientific, invites proposals for a technology that offers a rapid, minimally invasive diagnostic to determine the amount of Airway Smooth Muscle (ASM) in the trachea and bronchi (or airway wall).


Boston Scientific treats more than 22 million patients each year and in 2015 invested more than US$ 876 million into research and development. 


Boston Scientific’s Alair™ Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) System treats severe persistent asthma by reducing ASM through use of heat delivered directly to the airway wall.  The heat reduces the amount of muscle and therefore opens up the airway lumen.  Severe asthmatics that have excessive ASM are good candidates for this therapy. The current standard of care for quantifying ASM in these patients is through a bronchoscopy procedure in which airway tissue is collected with biopsy forceps. 


Boston Scientific would like to obtain a less invasive, quicker and cheaper method for measuring ASM.


Normal patients have about 5% ASM, whereas severe asthmatic patients who respond well to BT have higher ASM percentages often exceeding 15%. A less invasive method to identify patients with higher percentage of ASM is desired.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Feasibility demonstration

  • Demonstrate method to detect ASM at laboratory scale


Phase 2 – Pre-clinical evaluation


Phase 3 – Clinical validation


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

  • Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to implementation.


Learn more about Boston Scientific and bronchial thermoplasty at and

Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Quantitatively measure ASM percentage in wall, in a minimally invasive manner
    • Preferably be less invasive than airway biopsy
  • Preferably provide immediate measurement of ASM percentage
    • Or provide results within a few hours
  • Have >90% Sensitivity
  • Have a viable path to FDA approval



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Liquid (blood, urine, other) sample test for biomarker
  • Genetic testing
  • Imaging techniques
  • Other minimally invasive techniques


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • MRI
  • CT scan

Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Contract Analysis and Testing
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Consulting
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted



Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including analysis time, confidence interval, sensitivity, specificity
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to implement)
  • Pathway to regulatory approval including deliverables, timing, and estimated budget
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for industrial implementation that could be adapted.

You represent a company or university that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.


Area of Interest
Request Priority
This page does not have file attachments.
This page does not have file attachments.