The French company Tissium has raised a €38.8M Series B round to fund the development of polymers that can be used to repair blood vessels and nerves.
Contributing to the round were newcomers to Tissium such as the European Investment Fund and returning investors such as the investment bank Bpifrance and French life sciences VC firm Sofinnova Partners.
Tissium, formerly known as Gecko Biomedical, develops polymers that can act as surgical glue or be 3D-printed as implants. The company has an EU-approved polymer glue that is used to seal blood vessels in surgery. Called Setalum, the glue sets when hit with a beam of light, making it easy for surgeons to apply and control it during complicated surgeries. In one clinical study, the glue halted bleeding in 85% of the enrolled patients.
The company’s Series B will help to expand Tissium’s polymer technology to fields such as nerve repair and gastroenterology. Tissium will also use the funding to establish its newly opened base in Boston, US, which will help the Parisian firm to apply for US approval of its technology.
Tissium’s polymer technology is designed to be adaptable for many different uses. For example, the company can tweak the composition of the polymer as a surgical glue in different types of tissues, such as for repairing peripheral nerves. In addition, the polymers can be 3D-printed into implants that deliver drugs.
In many surgical techniques, blood vessels and nerves are repaired with sutures or grafts. These can have drawbacks such as the risk of infections with sutures, or limited availability in the case of grafts. Another European firm working to improve the repair of blood vessels and peripheral nerves is the Italian company Silk Biomaterials. This company makes tissue scaffolds out of silkworm silk because this material naturally encourages tissues to grow and repair themselves.
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