ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - Mar 29, 2012) - The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) announced today that it has selected two Georgia companies that will each receive up to $50,000 in convertible notes: ICON Interventional Systems® and MMJ Labs.

"We are pleased to be able to provide pre-seed money that is so critical to very early stage companies," said GCMI's Executive Director, H. Wayne Hodges. "Unfortunately the limited funds we currently have are available only to companies based in Georgia. However, we are continuing to explore other sources of pre-seed funding, including grants, loans and investment capital vehicles to help the region's medical device companies grow."

GCMI is the Southeast's first comprehensive medical device innovation center. The center brings together core members of the medical device community, including universities, research centers, clinicians, established device and drug companies, investors, and early-stage companies, with the goal of accelerating the commercialization of innovative medical technology.

GCMI selected companies that would benefit from a short-term convertible note and which showed a high likelihood of being able to repay the loan, Hodges explained. "Dr. Amy Baxter of MMJ Labs is a bright, talented entrepreneur who wants to bring her manufacturing back to the U.S. from China," Hodges said. "Jack Merritt, president and CEO of ICON, led the commercialization of the original Palmaz-Schatz Coronary Stent and is working on a pediatric bioscaffold that could yield terrific benefits for children with coronary conditions."

About ICON Interventional Systems
ICON Interventional Systems is an emerging medical device company providing cardiovascular solutions to patients and doctors around the world. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA with additional personnel in California and Cleveland. ICON maintains advisory relationships with the staff and faculty of Case Western Reserve University, Georgia Institute of Technology and others.

About MMJ Labs
MMJ Labs was established in 2006 by Dr. Amy Baxter, a pediatrician and pain researcher, to develop reusable, inexpensive products for personal pain control. As a mother of three, Dr. Baxter wanted to find a fast, effective solution to relieve sharp pain. The initial product launched was Buzzy®, a bee-shaped palm sized device combining cold and vibration. When placed between the brain and the pain, the competing stimulus decreases minor sharp pains. Additional products include Bee-Stractor™ cards which reduce pain through distraction.

About the Global Center for Medical Innovation
The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) is an independent, not-for-profit, full-service product development organization -- the first and only one of its kind in the Southeast. The center helps new-product teams enhance their product development, shorten time to market, and achieve significant cost savings throughout the process. GCMI was one of six winners of a national i6 Challenge focused on driving commercialization and innovation in the U.S. in an effort to move great ideas from the lab to the patient, creating jobs and economic growth. GCMI will officially open its doors on April 18, 2012.

Contact Information:

Lynn Hood