Surgical 'Band-Aid' startup gains new VC funding

ZipLine Medical's surgical skin closure device--Courtesy of ZipLine Medical

California's ZipLine Medical snagged a new $4.3 million round of financing to advance its marketing plan for a surgical skin-closure device that works like a Band-Aid.

RA Capital Management in Boston led the Series C Round. Existing investors XSeed Capital and Claremont Creek Ventures--both based in California--also participated.

ZipLine first launched in 2009. Its main product so far is the Zip surgical skin closure device, which tapes over a surgical incision. It's designed to work as well as sutures but be as quick to use as staples, with an added benefit of reducing surgical site infection because of the speed at which it can be applied. Once the wound is healed, a patient can peel Zip off, just like a Band-Aid. The company markets this as a way to avoid a doctor visit to remove staples or sutures, helping to reduce long-term healthcare costs.

In December 2013, ZipLine presented preliminary clinical results from a study that it said showed Zip worked as well, cosmetically, as traditional sutures but took much less time to apply. The company revealed the results at the 16th Annual Mount Sinai Winter Symposium on Advances in Medical and Surgical Dermatology.

A Band-Aid-like device that helps close surgical wounds may sound small scale. But the company hits all the right buttons, pushing its ease of use and ability to reduce healthcare costs and help curtail infection. Small-scale technology has its place in the larger scheme of things in the device world, and the larger med tech giants are always looking for the next big thing among startups and larger rivals alike.

New Jersey startup Tyrx is a case in point. The 2012 Fierce 15 winner developed an envelope (regular and bioresorble versions) laced with antibiotics into which implantable devices can be placed as part of the implant surgery. The invention is deceptively simple. But the company generated loads of clinical trial data showing how much it helped reduce post-surgical infections, and won FDA and Canadian approvals that helped validate its sales pitch. Medtronic ($MDT) recently announced plans to snatch Tyrx up for $160 million.

- read the release

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