PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gecko Biomedical (“Gecko”), a medical device company developing innovative polymers to support tissue healing, has closed a €22.5 million financing round. This series A2 round was led by Sofinnova Partners, which becomes the largest investor in Gecko, with support from Bpifranceand existing series A investors Omnes Capital, CM-CIC Innovation and CapDecisif Management, who invested in the company in December 2013. In conjunction with the financing, Antoine Papiernik at Sofinnova Partners and Chahra Louafi at Bpifrance have joined Gecko’s Board of Directors.
Gecko was co-founded by Christophe Bancel and Bernard Gilly (both from the iBionext Network), Prof Jeff Karp (Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital - Boston, MA, USA) and Prof Bob Langer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA, USA) in late 2013 to advance a state-of-the-art polymer platform. One of its lead inventors, Dr Maria Pereira, was named a Forbes 2015 “30 under 30.” Pereira is Gecko’s Head of Research.
The funds raised will be used to further advance the development of Gecko’s first platform GB-02 for cardiovascular reconstruction and beyond. In addition, the funds will be used to leverage its fully industrialized platform in novel areas including guided tissue repair and localized drug delivery.
Gecko’s platform has demonstrated its ability to be fully industrialized, with a unique level of biocompatibility and a great potential in terms of versatility.
This platform is based on proprietary polymers with unique chemical and physical properties, including high viscosity, hydrophobicity and fast “on demand” curing for precise local delivery and in situ adhesion. Upon curing, an elastic biodegradable film is formed. The structure of the polymer is tunable, allowing customization for various applications and tissues.
Christophe Bancel, Gecko’s CEO, commented: “Our investors’ support will enable us to complete our international clinical plans in cardiovascular surgery, which, if positive, will allow us to seek our first regulatory approval within one year. In addition, the funds will be used to expand our GB-02 platform to additional applications in tissue reconstruction. We will also drive the development of our next-generation polymer GB-04, for sutureless closure.”
Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners, added: “We are thrilled to be involved with Gecko Biomedical, a company which combines all the key features we are looking for when investing in a company: a very strong management team and a world-class platform technology with a multitude of possible paradigm-shifting applications.”
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 biopolymers platform.
Gecko’s first product (GB-02) is an innovative polymer for tissue healing, targeting cardiovascular reconstruction as an initial indication. The structure of GB-02 is tunable, allowing customization for various applications and tissues. Gecko’s biopolymers platform is fully industrialized and highly versatile, with potential novel applications in other fields of tissue reconstruction, such as guided tissue repair and localized drug delivery.
Gecko’s platform is based on proprietary biopolymers with unique chemical and physical properties, including high viscosity, hydrophobicity and fast “on demand” curing for precise local delivery and in situ adhesion.
The Company’s technologies are derived from world-class research and intellectual property from the laboratories of Pr Robert Langer (MIT) and Pr Jeff 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: www.geckobiomedical.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together 12 highly experienced investment professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a founding and lead investor in start-ups and corporate spin-offs, and has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 40 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.5 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnova.fr
Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and the French State, a trusted partner for entrepreneurs, supports companies from start-up to their listing on the stock market, through credit, guarantees and equity. Bpifrance also provides support services and enhanced support for innovation, external growth and export in partnership with Business France and Coface. Bpifrance offers companies a funding continuum for each key stage of their development together with services adapted to different regional needs. Through its 42 regional offices (90% of decisions are taken in region), Bpifrance represents a true financially competitive service for entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts in support of public policies implemented by the State and the Regional authorities to meet three objectives: support business growth; prepare for future competitiveness; contribute to the development of an ecosystem favourable to entrepreneurship. With Bpifrance, companies have a powerful, close and efficient partner to meet all their needs for funding, innovation and investment. For more information go to: www.bpifrance.fr - Follow us on Twitter: @bpifrance
About CM-CIC Innovation
CM-CIC Innovation is a subsidiary of CM-CIC Investissement, the Crédit Mutuel - CIC group's investment and merchant bank division. With more than 2.6 billion Euros worth of equity under management and over 600 portfolio companies, CM-CIC Investissement is a key player in capital investment in France, backed by its own equity resources. CM-CIC Innovation is specialized in investment and support for high-potential growth companies, with strong technology expertise, in the first stages of their development. It finances firms positioned on sectors such as life sciences, information technology, industrial innovations or environment. For more information go to: www.cmcic-investissement.com
About Omnes Capital
Omnes Capital is a major player in private equity and infrastructure. With €2.1 billion in assets under management, Omnes capital provides companies with the capital needed to finance their growth and with key expertise in a number of areas: Buyout & Growth Capital, Private Debt, Venture Capital, Renewable Energy, Co-Investment, Secondary Funds of Funds. Omnes Capital was a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole until March 2012. The firm is now owned by its employees. Omnes Capital is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). For more information go to: www.omnescapital.com
About CapDecisif Management
CapDecisif Management is an investment management company approved by the AMF (French Financial Markets Authority). Our team currently manages €110m over five different funds amongst which FPCI CapDecisif 3, G1J IdF and Regional Co-Investment Funds (FRCI). CapDecisif Management focuses on venture capital startups and invests mainly in upstream, innovative companies with high-growth potential, and which are located primarily in the Paris region. CapDecisif 3 is supported by the French National Seed Fund, managed by Bpifrance investment within the framework of the “Investissements d’Avenir”, and Paris Region. For more information go to: www.cap-decisif.com