Surgical glue developer Tissium banks €50M to expand into nerve, hernia repairs

After first exploring the uses of light-activated, adhesive polymers to help reseal blood vessels during vascular surgery, Tissium aims to expand its synthetic platform to a range of indications for tissue reconstruction and treatment—and it has raised €50 million, or about $59 million U.S., in new funding for its efforts.

The Paris- and Boston-based company plans to tackle the repair of damaged nerves by combining a 3D-printed implanted device with its adhesive. It also is developing methods for fixing hernias as well as therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and ear, nose and throat conditions.

The proceeds will also fuel Tissium’s international expansion strategy and help bolster its executive team, according to a company statement.

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The series C round was led by Cathay Capital’s Cathay Health affiliate alongside additional backing from Sofinnova Partners and other previous investors.

“Its expandable platform is solving for widespread problems in surgeries, addressing the needs of atraumatic repairs and can be applied to multiple, large, unmet therapeutic areas,” said Cathay Health co-founder and managing partner Hongjie Hu, who will join Tissium’s board of directors.

Tissium’s polymers are designed to be programmed for different uses and ultimately integrate with human tissue. Initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the technology has been considered for use as sealants, adhesives, barriers and plugs within the body—as well as a vehicle for extended-release drug delivery and as a resin for 3D-printed implants.

The company’s Setalium sealant received a CE Mark in Europe in 2017 for use as a surgical glue in blood vessel reconstruction procedures. Applied over the top of sutures and grafts, the flexible, biodegradable polymer is cured by a special light to quickly stop any bleeding or leaks. The vascular sealant also received a go-ahead from the FDA to begin U.S. clinical trials last November.