|LifeBond's LifeMesh technology--Courtesy of LifeBond|
As the med tech industry zeroes in on next-generation surgical sealants, Israeli startup LifeBond is raising $25 million to support development of its bio-surgical glue for postoperative tissue repair.
The Caesarea, Israel-based company is planning to close a Series D round in early 2015 to roll out its LifeSeal product, a gelatin-based glue that is delivered by an applicator and reduces leakage following gastrointestinal surgery and bariatric weight-loss procedures, USA Today reports. LifeBond previously raised $20 million in third-round financing, Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) investment arm JJDC contributing an undisclosed sum, and has already secured half of its current $25 million goal.
LifeBond will use funds to develop two applications of its glue technology: One, dubbed "LifeSeal," for colorectal surgeries, and another, "LifeMesh," for hernia repair. Colon-cancer surgeries usually require anastomosis, or the removal of diseased intestine and reattachment to restore GI tract function. In 15-19% of lower-colon operations, there is leakage through the staple lines, putting patients at higher risk for infection, additional surgery or death, according to the USA Today article. LifeSeal is applied along the line of a closure during an operation, providing a secure, elastic barrier while the body heals. Tissue grows in and the glue disappears over time.
LifeMesh works similarly, eschewing sutures and tacks to provide easy hernia repair with fewer complications. A surgeon coats a mesh patch with a dehydrated version of the material which secures the mesh to the abdominal wall. The adhesive keeps the patch in place as the body's tissues grow in and then eventually dissipates, LifeBond notes on its website.
The company plans to beef up R&D to pursue key regulatory approvals for its surgical sealant technology. The product recently met its goals in its first clinical study, and LifeBond this year enrolled patients in a second trial at 8 centers in Belgium, Israel and Sweden, USA Today reports. The company expects results from its second study this month.
Regulatory approvals and a fresh infusion of could help LifeBond grab a bigger piece of the market and stay a step ahead of its competition. In January, California's ZipLine Medical snagged $4.3 million to market its surgical skin-closure device that works like a Band-Aid. In August, Cohera Medical narrowly won FDA panel support for its TissuGlu surgical sealant, opening the door for full regulatory approval of the product.
- read the USA Today story