ZipLine Medical rounds up $12M for surgical suture alternative

The flexible Zip device gently compresses the incision so it doesn't grow bigger when the patient moves. (ZipLine Medical)

ZipLine Medical has scored $12 million in series E financing, which will support the international expansion of its noninvasive surgical skin closure as well as the development of new offerings.

The Campbell, California-based company markets the Zip Surgical Skin Closure, which serves as a skin closure alternative to staples, sutures and glue. Multiple Zip devices of different lengths may be combined for larger surgical incisions, or a single device may be cut down with scissors for smaller wounds.

The Zip is designed for a range of surgical incisions in several locations in the body, including those from joint arthroplasty of the hip, knee and shoulder and pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedures. It is applied to the skin after deeper suture layers are applied, the company says.

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“ZipLine Medical has introduced a revolution in surgery—advanced wound closure that addresses inherent limitations with traditional, antiquated methods. The ZipLine team is developing and marketing disruptive products that minimize risk, improve clinical outcomes and address the constant pursuit of cost-effective healthcare,” said Dean Tozer, operating partner of HighCape Partners, which led the financing.

The flexible Zip device is designed to protect the incision from pulling or tugging, which can happen when the patient moves. It is quick to apply and is easily removed by peeling from the skin—saving time in the operating room as well as later, if the surgeon decides the patient may remove the device at home.

There are other benefits too: "It's much faster than sutures and glue in the OR and results in a nice cosmetic outcome,” said Andrew Pearle, M.D., a surgeon at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery, when ZipLine presented clinical data in 2015. “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."

ZipLine previously raised $19 million last year, in a round led by MVM Life Science Partners, which also participated in the series E.

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