Wayfinder startup eLysis received a $10,000 grant from The Nicholas Endowment, an organization that aims to enrich the Orange County community through support of the arts and sciences. With this funding, eLysis plans to move their fat-destroying technology into human trials.  

“I was ecstatic,” said Joon You, Ph.D., chief technology officer and interim CEO of eLysis. “It’s very fortunate we got the grant because we needed some funding to do some prototyping. The goal for this grant is to develop a version of the technology that can be used for first-in-human study.”

The startup’s patented UC Irvine technology, called electrochemical lysis of fat (ELF), destroys fat cells by utilizing electric currents. First, the patient is injected with a saline solution and lidocaine into a targeted fat layer. Afterward, the microneedle ELF device runs a 5-volt DC current through the area. This generates a pH change that kills fat cells, and, over the course of two to three months, patients can expect a reduction of fat in that targeted area.

eLysis’ ELF technology reduces fat, tightens skin and contours the body to generate specific looks – like a six-pack in the ab area.

So far, eLysis has proven product viability in clinical trials utilizing 300-pound pigs. This data establishes the feasibility for human clinical trials, which will help eLysis attain FDA approval. 

eLysis joined the Wayfinder program in 2019 after placing first in the Tech Surge track of UCI’s New Venture Competition. Through Wayfinder, eLysis gets marketing advice from Innovation Advisors, learns more about the FDA approval process and receives guidance from investors. 

In the future, eLysis hopes to build on The Nicholas Endowment grant with successful clinical trials that may result in further investments, FDA approval and commercialization.

Illustration: Julie Kennedy, UCI Beall Applied Innovation