RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Emerging life science firm Humacyte, which has generated worldwide interest in its bioengineering technology, has landed $150 million in equity from Boston-based Fresenius Medical Care.

In exchange Fresenius, which is a global provider of dialysis products and services, gains exclusive commercialization rights to Humacyte’s blood vessel technology. The deal gives Fresenius a 19 percent ownership stake in Humacyte.

Called Humacyte’s Human Acellular Vessel, or Humacyl, the technology is undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials in the US as well as Europe with regulatory approval expected once trials are completed.

Just last year, Humacyte raised $75 million in new capital.

“This is a transformational milestone for Humacyte, giving us the world’s strongest partner to help bring our product to more patients globally,” said Carrie Cox, CEO and chairman of Humacyte, in a statement. “Our partnership will allow Humacyte to focus on advancing the potential for HUMACYL as a substantial breakthrough in the science of regenerative medicine, and to continue our development of an exciting future pipeline.”

Humacyte is focusing on development of regenerative medical technology.

Unlike most regenerative medicine companies, Humacyte does not directly use a patient’s own cells as therapies or products. Instead, it uses a proprietary cell-culture technology to engineer tissues that can be shaped into tubes, sheets, or particulate conformations, with properties similar to native tissues.

Humacyl is derived from banked human vascular cells that are seeded onto a degradable scaffold and then cultured so they secrete a matrix that forms a tissue in the shape of the scaffold. The vascular cells are then removed to avoid triggering an immune response in patients receiving the tissue.

Humacyte said its product pipeline includes other potential applications that may improve treatment outcomes for patients suffering from both vascular and non-vascular diseases.

Global reach for new tech

The Fresenius  deal was announced early Monday.

“This agreement has the potential to make Humacyte’s investigational human acellular vessel, Humacyle, available to more patients worldwide following approval of the product,” the companies said in the announcement. It “is currently being investigated for vascular access for hemodialysis and may prove more effective than current synthetic grafts and fistula.”

Fresenius said it will be responsible for sales, marketing and distribution of Humacyl.

“By partnering with Humacyte, Fresenius Medical Care has an opportunity to offer a dialysis vascular access option with the potential for significant clinical efficacy and safety improvements, including the potential to minimize catheter contact time to the benefit of our patients,” said Franklin Maddux, Chief Medical Officer for Fresenius Medical Care North America. “Our exclusive rights to distribute this innovative technology to dialysis patients worldwide may have significant benefits not only to patients, but health systems as well. With the potential for fewer anticipated complications and interventions compared to synthetic grafts, we may see increased safety for patients and reduced medical and economic burdens to the healthcare system.”

More details are available online: Fresenius Medical Care and Humacyte announce strategic global partnership supported by a $150M equity investment.