Minnesota Company Creates New Treatment Option for Osteoarthritis

Ali Jaafar is a co-founder of Minnesota Medical Physics, a Minneapolis-based medical device incubator, and the current President of BioMagnetic Sciences LLC. Jaafar and his partner, Dr. Victor Chornenky, are both physicists that are passionate about researching and improving devices used in medical procedures. “I have helped create hundreds of devices, and I have the warmest feeling knowing that I had a part of creating a device that is helping someone,” explained Dr. Jaafar.

Corporate Businessman and Entrepreneur

After receiving a degree in Physics and Mathematics from Northern Illinois as well as a graduate degree in experimental Nuclear Physics, Ali Jaafar’s career has included positions at Westinghouse and Johnson and Johnson among other companies. At both of these companies, Ali Jaafar specialized in research and development of medical devices for specific medical procedures. While at Westinghouse, Ali earned a George Westinghouse Signature Award for his successful work on a contract with the United States Navy. Then, at Johnson and Johnson, Ali started a team for creating new products as the worldwide Vice President of product development, which created over 60 medical devices in 1995 alone. “After my team built over $860 million in sales, I decided if I can do it for a big company, then I can do it with my own company,” shared Jaafar.

In 2001, Jaafar and Dr. Victor Chornenky collaborated as the two formed Minnesota Medical Physics. The two were introduced at MIT a few years prior to starting the company, but it wasn’t until a conversation at an American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans that they found a common interest as physicists who also desired to make a difference in the medical device industry. “Since 2001, our medical device incubator has earned and is licensing patents for companies to treat liver cancer, macro degeneration, prostate cancer, breast cancer, electric nerve stimulation and even neonatal vaccinations,” explained Jaafar.

With the constant research and development of new devices, Jaafar says that he cannot “fall in love with the devices…instead he finds his passion in the research of new devices.” However, almost a decade ago, Dr. Chornenky and Dr. Jaafar stumbled onto a medical treatment that needed innovation. Dr. Chornenky struggled with arthritis, and the prescribed treatments did not alleviate the pain. “We found out to our dismay that nothing could be done for arthritis outside of taking pain medication… so we began to research and search for others doing the same,” explained Jaafar.

Company Formed with Product to Sell

By 2009, Jaafar and Chornenky found groundbreaking osteoarthritis research taking place by a team of orthopedic, biomedical and pharmacological scientists from University of Ferrara in Italy as well as scientists experimenting at Kyoto University Medical School in Japan. In 2011, Minnesota Medical Physics had gained a patent for the NovoPulse, which is a non-evasive device that uses pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) to treat arthritis in the spine. Once the device was created, the next step was to launch a company ready to sell the product in the private sector. “We are trying to establish ourselves as the only company in the world to make an electric magnetic field reach cartilage while also solving the problem of the electric field being absorbed by the bone,” shared Jaafar.

“As of 2017, BioMagnetic Sciences is ready to take NovoPulse to the market….we are also finishing the second round of raising $1 million in capital investment for the company,” explained Jaafar. Currently, the BioMagnetic Sciences team is finishing their fundraising push while also setting up a partnership with ComDell Innovation in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Over the next few months, manufacturing, shipping, and a service center will be established at ComDell to help bring NovoPulse to market.”

Learn more from Ali Jaafar and BioMagnetic Sciences as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Brent McNeal