Gecko Biomedical secures €6 million in funding under the Investments for the Future program (Programme d’investissements d’avenir, PIA), to industrialize and develop innovative solutions for tissue reconstruction
Paris, 24 January 2018 – Gecko Biomedical (“Gecko”) has been granted a total of €6 million in funding under the Investments for the Future program (PIA) for its project proposal entitled “PIAVE” [Projets Industriels d’Avenir (Promising Industrial Projects)], which is piloted by the General Secretariate for Investment (SGPI) and operated by Bpifrance. This funding is a contribution towards the industrialization and development of innovative solutions in the area of tissue reconstruction, and the peripheral nerve in particular.
Gecko is a medical device company developing an exclusive platform of polymers allowing for tissue reconstruction. These synthetic polymers, which are biocompatible, bioresorbable, and activated by a specific type of light, can be applied onto internal tissues during surgical procedures (acting like an adhesive, a barrier or a filler product, depending on the type of surgery). They are also 3D-printable, allowing for the production of flexible, bioresorbable and very high-resolution implants.
This funding will provide support for the industrialization of Gecko’s polymers platform, as well as for the development of a new, innovative program that will enable the reconstruction of peripheral nerves, without sutures, using 3D-printed micro-conducts secured by one of the company’s exclusive adhesives.
A 1,150 m2 manufacturing site, powered by 100% green electricity, is currently under construction in Roncq (in the Hauts-de-France Region) and will feature four clean rooms (totalling 300 m2 ) and an analytical laboratory extending over 140 m2.
Christophe Bancel, CEO of Gecko Biomedical, said: “This funding will allow us to speed up our industrialization process and equip ourselves with a globally unique manufacturing site. Cutting-edge processes will be performed on this site to produce all our liquid polymers in individual, sterile conditions, ready for use by surgeons. We also intend to speed up a second phase in our strategy through the industrial and clinical development of our 3D printing platform for flexible, bioresorbable and high-resolution implants, by leveraging our polymers as a biomedical resin, as well as by optimising state-of-the-art 3D printing techniques”.
Marie Zwarg, the Area Leader for Healthcare within the management team for Bpifrance’s Industrial Sectors, added that: “Bpifrance has supported Gecko Biomedical since its creation. We are delighted to contribute to furthering the development of its top-level technological platform with multiple applications, while also contributing to its industrialization in France”.
About Gecko Biomedical
Gecko Biomedical is a privately owned medical device company based in Paris, France that is dedicated to the rapid development and commercialization of a unique biopolymer platform to address various unmet clinical needs.
The company’s platform is based on a proprietary polymer family with unique properties including superior biocompatibility, tunable bioresorbability, and adjustable tissue adherence. Furthermore, the polymer hydrophobicity, high viscosity and controlled “on demand” curing enables a unique and controlled delivery to targeted tissues or the creation of scaffolds.
Gecko Biomedical’s first product, SETALUMTM Sealant, is an innovative polymer dedicated for tissue reconstruction. It is targeted to vascular reconstruction as an initial indication. Its structure is tunable, allowing customization for various applications and tissue types. The polymer is part of a biopolymer platform family that is fully industrialized and highly versatile, with potential novel applications in other fields of tissue reconstruction such as guided tissue repair, and the field of localized drug delivery.
The Company’s technology is based on world-class research and intellectual property from the laboratories of Professor Robert Langer (MIT) and Professor Jeffrey M. Karp (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), who co-founded the company in 2013, alongside Christophe Bancel and Bernard Gilly from the iBionext Network. For more information, please visit: Twitter: @geckobiomedical
About the Investments for the Future program
The Investments for the Future program (PIA) benefits from 57 million euros and is piloted by the General Secretariate for Investment. It was established by the government to fund innovative and promising investments in France. Six national priorities have thus been identified to allow France to increase its potential for growth and employment:
• higher education, research and training,
• research development and transfer to the economic sphere,
• sustainable development,
• industry and SMEs,
• the digital economy,
• health and biotechnology.
Find out more on investments for the future:
Twitter: @SGPI_avenir
Bpifrance | PRESS RELEASE | 24 JANUARY 2018 | 3
PIAVE’s call for projects is directed at projects that fit within the new 9-solution approach of the New Face of Industry in France (Nouvelle France industrielle).
It covers two types of projects:
• R&D and industrialization work,
• work aimed at reinforcing competitiveness within strategic French sectors.
These projects must benefit several small and medium enterprises (SMEs), or independent mid-cap companies (MCCs), and must show a concrete and significant benefit to the sector and its structuring. They must also entail industrial activity, and must prove, on fruition, to be autonomous with regard to public support.
In order to be eligible, these projects must involve a program entailing a minimum spend of 3 million euros, as well as a remit entailing prospects for business and for employment:
• fulfilling one or more solutions for the New Face of Industry in France, particularly with regard to the implementation of a road map approved by the 9 solutions piloting committee. In this event, the project must be handled by a company, irrespective of its size. This company may involve other companies, laboratories or research establishments within a consortium;
• fulfilling the objectives of one of the strategic sector committees; the project may alternatively be supported by a structure that brings together a number of companies, or by an entity which represents companies in the sector (such as a professional federation, a special interest group or an association…).
A budget of 305 million euros will be allocated to the “Promising Industrial Projects” (“PIAVE”) initiative, by way of state assistance (involving subsidies and refundable advance payments).
About Bpifrance
Bpifrance funds companies, at every stage of their growth, through loans, guarantees and equity. Bpifrance supports them in their innovation projects, as well as supporting them internationally. Bpifrance also now ensures their export activity through a broad range of products. Also on offer to entrepreneurs are advisory services, universities, networking and acceleration programs designed for start-ups, SMEs and mid-cap companies.
Thanks to Bpifrance and its 48 regional sites, entrepreneurs benefit from a close point of contact, which is dedicated to them and effectively supports them in facing their challenges.
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