MoMelan Technologies, a three-year-old Cambridge, MA, startup with an unusual skin graft technology invented by laser hair removal pioneer R. Rox Anderson, was secretly acquired by San Antonio, TX-based Kinetic Concepts recently, Xconomy has learned. A MoMelan investor who asked not to be named told Xconomy that he had received an e-mail from MoMelan co-founder and president Sameer Sabir informing stakeholders of the news, and that Kinetic Concepts had asked the company not to make word of the acquisition public. The investor declined to share details of the terms. However, he said., “it’s a good outcome for everybody–founders, investors, employees.”
A Kinetic Concepts spokesman did not deny the report, but told Xconomy in an e-mail that the company “does not have anything to share at this time.” In repeated calls yesterday and this morning, no one was answering the phones at MoMelan’s Cambridge headquarters.
Kinetic Concepts specializes in products for wound care, but MoMelan’s technology would represent a new—though complimentary—direction for the company. MoMelan was co-founded by Anderson, a Harvard dermatologist who invented the first laser hair removal device, to commercialize another device he invented that expands pieces of skin up to 100 times their original size for use in grafting. As Ryan McBride of Xconomy wrote in June 2010, the MoMelan device was initially developed at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Wellman Center for Photomedicine, of which Anderson is director, for people with a condition called vitiglio that causes skin discoloration. “The firm’s founders say the device also has the potential to be used for patients with scars and other skin conditions for which skin grafts are treatment options,” Ryan wrote.
MoMelan was backed by a number of leading venture capitalists and angel investors, including KLP Enterprises, Life Science Angels, BioVentures Investors, LaunchCapital, and Mass Medical Angels. In May 2011 it closed on $3.5 million in series A funding, which it said it was using in part to conduct ongoing clinical trials of the device. At that time Sabir told Xconomy that his goal was a limited market release in the next 18 months.
Kinetic Concepts made waves a year ago when it was taken private in a $6.3 billion leveraged buyout by London-based investment firm Apax Partners and two Canadian pension funds. At the time it was the largest LBO since the 2008 financial crisis.
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