SpineMedica, a startup that is focused on developing an artificial disc implant, recently closed on a $10.6 million round of venture capital.
Among the investors is South Carolina-based Trelys Fund.
SpineMedica, which touts itself as a medical device company, calls its disc implant SaluDisc. SpineMedica licensed the technology from SaluMedica and David Ku, who is a member of the company’s board. SaluMedica, which is also based in Atlanta, had developed and patented hydrogel technology.
According to SaluMedica, the SaluDisc contains water in similar proportions to human tissue and is stronger than other hydrogels such as those used for contact lenses.
“The organic polymer-based biomaterial can withstand millions of loading cycles, yet it is soft enough to match the compliance of normal biological tissue,” a recent posting on FDANews quoted SaluMedica as saying.
Also investing in the deal were FCA Venture Partners III, a fund managed by Clayton Associates in Nashville TN, and A/B Partners III LP, which is managed by Archbrook Capital Management.
SpineMedica licensed the technology in August and raised its Series A round in some three months time. The firm says it has already developed several prototypes of discs that could be used for “a total disc replacement device.”
Rebeccah Brown, an engineer specializing in biomaterials, will direct the SaluDisc Project. She is a graduate of MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. Brown earned masters and PhD at Georgia tech, focusing on the durability of orthopedic devices, according to SpineMedica.
SaluMedica received an undisclosed amount of cash and equity in SpineMedica in exchange for the rights to the disc product.
“The agreement with SpineMedica allows SaluMedica to focus on its current cartilage restoration products and core strength of development while SpineMedica applies its expertise to the spine,” said Ku, who is president of SaluMedica. “Not only do both the partnering companies benefit, but the end result will be extended offerings across the orthopedic spectrum to improve the lives of patients.”
Matthew Miller is president of SpineMedica. Serial entrepreneur Steve Gorlin is the company’s chairman.
SpinMedica: www.spinemedica.com (still under development.)