Interface Biologics Financing Deal Gives A New Face to Biomedical Polymer Technology

At work developing transformative biomedical-polymer products, Interface Biologics, a private company, has recently completed a $7M series B financing led by Business Development Bank of Canada in conjunction with Covington Capital and VG Partners.

“These are difficult times for early stage companies, and this latest financing by Interface Biologics demonstrates the faith the investment community has in IBI’s technology platforms, management team and commercial prospects”, commented Art Rosenthal, CEO of medical device company Cappella Inc. and Chairman of the IBI Board.

Their primary technology focus areas are anti-thrombogenic devices that reduce thrombosis without the need for heparin and programmable combination drug delivery devices.

Thrombus related problems cost the US healthcare system an estimated $1 billion annually and can lead to over 50,000 deaths per year. The current standard of care is either uncoated products or products coated with heparin or other lubricious materials. The challenge with coatings for devices is that they are difficult to present on both the inner and outer surfaces of the device, have limited long term effectiveness due to lack of bio-durability, and are prone to stripping in vivo or during chemical and physical preparation of the device prior to its use. Furthermore, heparin can be contra-indicated in many patients with potentially fatal allergic reactions.

The Endexo™ Solution presents anti-thrombogenic additives that are low molecular weight fluoro-oligomers and impart a passivating surface to the implantable medical devices thereby reducing platelet adhesion and thrombus formation. Endexo is a versatile technology platform with many different formulations that are compatible with a wide range of base polymers and manufacturing processes to provide enhanced performance features. Endexo molecules have demonstrated ability to withstand processing temperatures of up to 310 deg C. Because there is no change in the manufacturing process, Endexo provides an economically viable solution for high value products.

Additionally, implantable medical devices inherently increase the risk of infection either through the implant procedure itself or as an access point to external microorganisms. Chronic infections place a major burden on the healthcare system with some estimates as high as $12 billion per year for the US alone. This is caused by patients spending more time in the hospital, requiring more doctor and nurse time and the use of expensive systemic antibiotics as more aggressive treatment options are explored.

The current state of the art in infection control devices include some form of silver containing coating. The challenge is that while effective in the short term, silver coatings have limited duration and may not last long enough to prevent infections in devices that are implanted for more than 7 days. Silver is also non-selective.

The Epidel Solution presents anti-infective polymers that are long chain polymers for implantable medical devices that release pharmaceuticals to fight infection. By combining various pairings of anti-microbial agents, Epidel has demonstrated ability to control a broad range of microbes over an extended period of time. Further, since the pharmaceuticals are built into the backbone of the polymer itself, Epidel is compatible with a number of manufacturing processes including fiber spinning, durable dip coating, electro spinning and molding which provides broad applicability across a wide range of implantable devices.

With regard to their recent financing, Tom Reeves, President & CEO of Interface Biologics said, “We’re very pleased to have been able to complete this financing and greatly appreciate the support of our investor partners.  Based on our current forecasts, this financing is sufficient for us to reach cash flow breakeven but we are still open to a $3-5 million incremental raise in order to facilitate parallel development of other applications for our combination drug-delivery biomedical polymer technologies.”

Mr. Reeves presented at OneMedForum  SF 2011.

Other companies making advancements in polymer products are Access Pharmaceuticals and Arterial Remodeling Technologies.

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