By Brandon Glenn
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — Cohera Medical Inc., which is developing a tissue adhesive for use in tummy-tuck surgeries, received a $10 million investment commitment, the first of what it hopes will lead to a $25 million Series C round.
The $10 million commitment comes from its two major prior investors. The company plans to begin fundraising in March, with insiders getting the first shot, CEO Patrick Daly said.
The company raised a $6.8 million Series A round from private investors in 2006, followed by a $16.1 million Series B round in 2008. The Series B round was led by Pittsburgh’s Bradford Capital Partners and included participation from previous investors led by San Francisco-based Kern Whelan Capital LLC.
Asked if he was confident in Cohera’s prospects for raising the full $25 million, Daly said, “We believe what we’ve done as a company is going to make that round something that people will be interested in.”
The company’s lead product, TissuGlu, is designed to minimize fluid accumulation and other problems associated with abdominoplasty, or “tummy-tuck” surgery. In December, Cohera said it had treated with TissuGlu the first of about 40 patients in a clinical study in Germany. The company is continuing to enroll patients in the study, Daly said.
Cohera plans to seek CE Mark approval in the European Union this summer. The company hopes to begin enrolling patients in U.S. clinical trials in the fourth quarter, Daly said.
Patients who undergo tummy tucks require the insertion of drains to remove fluids that accumulate under the skin, but sometimes excess fluid still accumulates, necessitating another surgery. TissuGlu aims to strongly adhere to the skin that’s cut during surgery, reducing the amount of collected fluid and the time that drains need to be inserted, according to Cohera. Unlike some other strong “super-glue” adhesives used in tummy tucks, TissuGlu is safe for internal use, Cohera says.
Daly estimated TissuGlu’s market opportunity at between $500 million and $750 million from 2011 to 2015, according to press release.
The company is also developing an adhesive for securing soft tissues to implantable devices, such as hernia mesh, and a small-bone adhesive.The mesh product is currently in animal trials and the company expects it to be its second product to hit the market. Daly declined to provide a time frame for the mesh or bone products entering human trials.
Cohera is a portfolio company of economic development group Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, which invested $250,000 in the company.