PE firm KKR backs Cohera in $50M for internal surgical adhesive launch

The TissuGlu technology--Courtesy of Cohera Medical

Private equity group KKR ($KKR) isn't particularly focused on healthcare. Only a handful of biopharmas are in its portfolio, although it did have a 3% stake in Biomet, which was recently acquired to form Zimmer Biomet ($ZBH). It's also a major investor in Panasonic Healthcare, which acquired Bayer's diabetes device business for almost $1.2 billion this summer. The firm has very deep pockets, with almost $100 billion under management at June 30.

Now, KKR has committed to another med tech player by leading a new $50 million round for Cohera Medical, which this year nabbed an FDA approval for its TissuGlu Surgical Adhesive as well as a CE mark for its Sylys Surgical Sealant. In addition, the FDA has designated Sylys as an Expedited Access Pathway device given its potential to address unmet patient needs for the prevention of gastrointestinal leaks after surgery.

The financing will go to fund a U.S. launch for TissuGlu, which the FDA approved in February for use in abdominoplasty procedures. The product can reduce the need for drains after surgery and improve postsurgical healing times for patients. It will also be used to advance U.S. clinical testing of Sylys for use in bowel repair.

"In clinical trials, surgeons were able to eliminate the need for post-surgical drains by using TissuGlu, reducing the need for invasive treatments for their abdominoplasty patients, and improving the patient recovery process," said Cohera President and CEO Patrick Daly in a statement. "The Premarket Approval (PMA) supports the safety and effectiveness of TissuGlu as an alternative to the use of closed suction drains."

Sylys Surgical Sealant--Courtesy of Cohera Medical

TissuGlu is the first synthetic adhesive that the FDA has approved for internal use after surgery, with Sylys up next in the same category. Sylys is a resorbable synthetic sealant aimed at reducing anastomotic leakage in surgical GI procedures, which occurs in as many as roughly one-quarter of GI surgical patients and is the most serious potential complication.

The company also has a pipeline of additional surgical mesh adhesives as well as hemostatic foam, bone adhesives and drug delivery products.

"Cohera Medical has demonstrated an impressive ability to innovate transformational health care products and is at the forefront of new technologies in the expanding surgical adhesives and sealants market," said KKR Director Ali Satvat. He will join the Cohera board with the financing. The company has closed on only the first tranche of the $50 million financing, with the remainder likely hinging on subsequent milestones.

- here is the announcement