Teleflex drops $30M on MIT spin-out to boost device safety

Devicemaker Teleflex ($TFX) snapped up MIT spin-out Semprus BioSciences for $30 million, aiming to use that company's polymer coating tech to reduce the rates of medical complications with implanted devices. The deal could eventually be worth a total $80 million in milestone payments, reports MassDevice, citing anonymous sources.

Semprus' Sustain technology is a non-leaching polymer that stops platelets and blood proteins from sticking to implants, and Teleflex says applying it to vascular devices will reduce the rates of thrombosis and microbial adhesion over the long-term. Sustain is designed to mimic the membranes of the cells that line blood vessels, helping to mask the presence of a foreign object and avoid the body's natural defenses.

Teleflex says its newly acquired tech will improve the effectiveness and safety of vascular implants, and the company is optimistic the coating will be useful with its Arrow peripherally-inserted central catheter, currently under review for 510(k) clearance and a CE mark. "We believe Semprus' novel technology provides distinct advantages over other surface and coating technologies currently on the market with its dual-functionality, ability to work in blood products and long-term duration," Teleflex CEO Benson Smith said in a statement.

The Pennsylvania firm isn't the only one looking to license or acquire techs that reduce the risk of averse reaction. Last week, after researchers at Brown University announced that their selenium formulation could reduce the risk of infection when applied to catheters, Axena Technologies inked a licensing deal to implement the method.

Leerink Swann, the life science-focused investment bank, served as sole adviser to Semprus for the deal, a bank spokesperson said.

- read Teleflex's release
- check out MassDevice's report