France-Based Tissium Boosts US Work After Closing €38.75M Series B

Xconomy Boston — 

Tissium is targeting Boston’s biotech scene to advance its platform of proprietary biopolymers after building out its manufacturing capabilities in France.

Backed by a €38.75 million ($42.78 million) Series B funding round, the company is moving forward with several development programs examining the polymer’s use in various applications.

“Since the inception of the company Boston was a location that we leveraged a lot in being able to reach out to experts. Now as we are growing and expanding, the US is clearly a central and key market for us to advance,” Tissium CEO, Christophe Bancel, tells Xconomy.

Headquartered in Paris, France, Tissium has strong ties to the Boston ecosystem through its funders and recently opened an affiliate office in the area. The new office also enables close communication with the FDA, as the French company plans to first target the US, says Bancel, citing changing medical device regulations in Europe that are shifting the dynamics of product development.

“In the past, the pathway was mainly Europe then the US. But now with the new regulations, I believe that the US will become more of a backbone of our regulatory strategy globally,” he explains. “And this is why we want to enhance our capabilities in the US.”

The goal is to identify partners and expedite development in four major regulatory jurisdictions, which in addition to the US and Europe, include China and Japan. Funds from the Series B will support these efforts, says Bancel.

A special light system transforms the polymer from its liquid, viscous state into a solid and flexible one. (Image credit: Tissium)

Up first, Tissium plans to advance the polymer for use as a medical device for suture-less nerve repair. Bancel says it will move the work into the clinic next year before testing its use in high-pressure procedures, such as in gastroenterology. The polymer also can be 3D printed to create implantable devices and has drug delivery applications, for which Bancel said it is aiming to conduct studies in late 2020, early 2021.

“The core of the technology is the material. But the material does not make the product,” adds Bancel. “For all of our solutions, we provide the polymer in a pre-filled syringe and designs accessories for surgical procedures.”

Professors Robert Langer and Jeffrey Karp from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, respectively, co-founded Tissium in 2013.

Returning for the Series B, BPI France, CM-CIC Innovation, Cap Décisif Management, Omnes Capital, and Sofinnova Partners were joined by new investors, BNP Paribas Développement, the European Investment Fund (EIF), M&L Investments, ValQuest Partners.

Main image credit: Tissium