Startup raises $19M to market suture-replacing, Zip skin closure products

Zip Surgical Skin Closure--Courtesy of ZipLine Medical

ZipLine Medical has won $19 million to back marketing of its Zip Surgical Skin Closure products--which are intended to be as speedy as staples but with an outcome that's comparable to sutures, thereby saving time and money in the operating room. The Campbell, CA-based startup was founded in 2009 and had raised only about $6 million in two previous financings.

Zip skin closure is designed to be used across a wide variety of surgical incision types including C-section, spine, orthopedic, lacerations, laparoscopic port closure and skin excision. Last year, ZipLine said it had results from a prospective, randomized clinical trial that showed Zip had several advantages versus sutures in closure for pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator surgical patients.

"We have seen significant reduction and less variance in closure time with Zip compared to sutures, and most patients have reported greater satisfaction and greater comfort with Zip," Dr. Ulrika Birgersdotter-Green, professor of medicine and director of pacemaker and ICD services at UCSD Medical Center and principal investigator for the study, said in a statement at the time.

"We use the Zip on TKA and Makoplasty incisions," added Dr. Andrew Pearle, a surgeon at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery. "It's much faster than sutures and glue in the OR and results in a nice cosmetic outcome. With the increasing emphasis on overall procedure cost as well as patient satisfaction, we're finding that we can reduce procedure time as well as keep our patients happy with the Zip. The Zip doesn't puncture tissue and our patients are spared the pain, anxiety and track marks associated with metal staples."

The Zip Surgical Skin Closure devices are classified as Class I and 510(k) exempt by the FDA and have received a CE mark. The company came out of early-stage investor XSeed Capital. Its devices incorporate the PRELOC technology, which ZipLine said offers a first-of-its-kind barrier to pulling and tugging along an incision as well as isolates, compresses and protects a surgical incision.

The recent financing was led by new investor MVM Life Science Partners, which is a healthcare investor that's based in London and Boston. It includes participation from technology investor China Materialia.

"I am impressed by the broad applicability as well as extensive clinical and economic benefits of ZipLine's products. This makes ZipLine a perfect fit in our healthcare investment portfolio," said MVM Partner Dr. Bali Muralidhar. He and Dr. Stephen Reeders, also of MVM, have joined the ZipLine Board as part of the financing. The company's board also includes representatives from Claremont Creek Ventures, XSeed Capital, RA Capital and China Materialia.

- here is the announcement