BY LINDA BAKER
Sarah Cota, president of JettStream, and her son Jett.
// Photo courtesy Juniper Rock Photography
Giving asthma medication to young children is a trying task. Kids don’t like to wear the face mask that allows the nebulized mist to be inhaled, creating stress for parents and resulting in more emergency room visits. In search of a solution, Sarah Cota, a Bend mother with a 7-year-old asthmatic son, has come up with an alternative delivery method: the JettPak, a hands- and mask-free nebulizer accessory that administers medicine to kids while they are sleeping. The president of JettStream, a medical device startup, Cota says things have been “rolling like crazy” since the company incorporated in 2012. JettStream has five employees, raised $250,000 of a $750,000 seed round, and is preparing to begin clinical trials at Bend Memorial Clinic. The company also runs an online asthma education and community site providing tips and tricks for parents, and it is considering creating a curriculum for doctors. Tests conducted at Bend Research earlier this year showed the JettPak delivered the same amount of medication as the mask and nebulizer, says Cota, who plans to roll out the device this summer to consumers and health care providers. Hospitals view the JettPak as a cost-effective way to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, says Cota, a 36-year-old former social worker who never imagined herself running a corporation.
PRODUCT: Nebulizer accessory
PRESIDENT: Sarah Cota
LOCALLY GROWN: “Typically, clinical trials come through big pharmaceutical companies. So hospitals here are excited to have a product from a Bend company come through. The Oregon Bioscience Association has been a huge help with networking. They continually help us reach out for funding.”
BIG GUN: “Dr. James Fink is the leader globally in research for nebulizer medication. I stalked him for two months on the Internet before meeting him in San Francisco. He joined our advisory panel. That was the biggest home run for us. ‘Oh, my God. We got Dr. Fink onboard.’”