May 30, 2018

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Tissue replacement firm and Duke spin-out Humacyte raises $75 million


[Originally posted on TechWire by Olivia Schaber, N.C. Business News Wire — March 9, 2018 .]

Founded by former Duke professor Laura Niklason and includes Duke alums Shannon Dahl and Juliana Blum.

DURHAM — Humacyte, an emerging biotechnology company focusing on technology to grow stable, “off-the-shelf” human tissue replacements, has raised $75 million, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

The money was raised in the form of equity from 29 investors, according to the filing.

“The enthusiastic response from new and existing investors is a reflection of the remarkable opportunity Humacyte has to revolutionize vascular medicine, through our groundbreaking biomedical engineering platform,” said Carrie Cox, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Humacyte, in a press release announcing the funding. “Completing the final stage of clinical testing for our first product candidate later this year will be a significant achievement for our organization and the overall regenerative medicine industry.”

Humacyte develops technology that grows stable, off-the-shelf investigational human tissue replacements which could be used in regenerative medicine – which helps repair human cells, tissues, and organs – and in vascular and non-vascular surgery. The company’s product, human acellular vessels, has the potential to reduce inflammation and clotting in patients who are exposed to it, have a low risk of immune response and could lead to lower healthcare costs if the technology allows for less surgical interventions.

In October 2017, the privately-held company was awarded $3.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense, with the money being used to fund Humacyte’s Phase 2 vascular trauma trial.

TRIAL UNDERWAY

The trial is being conducted to study human acellular vessels’ potential to treat patients with traumatic vascular injuries from violent civilian or military events like car crashes, industrial accidents or war injuries.

In September 2017, the company received an award of $14.1 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to expand clinical applications of HAV.

The company is led by Cox, who joined the company in 2010. Prior to Humacyte, Cox served as executive vice president and then president of Global Pharmaceuticals from 2003 until 2009.

She received her B.S. from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been named six times to Fortune Magazine’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.”

Companies relying on a Reg D exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but they must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.