Sofregen Medical said today that it bought the Seri surgical scaffold from Allergan (NYSE:AGN) for an undisclosed amount. Polaris Partners and other investors provided financing for the acquisition, according to the Medford, Mass.-based company.
Seri, which is approved by the FDA for use as soft tissue support in plastic and reconstructive surgical procedures, is the only approved silk-based surgical mesh on the market. Allergan acquired the technology when it bought Serica Technologies in 2010, a spinout from Tuft University’s biomedical engineering lab run by David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto.
“Silk has proven to promote regeneration of the body’s own tissue, allowing for tremendous potential to effectively repair both disfiguring injuries and delicate defects,” Sofregen chairman Howard Weisman said in prepared remarks. “The global market for products to address soft-tissue aesthetics is estimated to reach $5 billion next year. We are excited to be adding the Seri product line to our platform, and look forward to continuing to help surgeons who are eager to restore confidence and improve the quality of life for patients around the world.”
“As the new supplier of Seri Surgical Scaffold, Sofregen is committed to meeting the needs of customers without disruption,” incoming president & COO Christopher White added. “We are bolstering our commercial organization, adding field-based sales representatives and medical affairs personnel to support the Seri product line with outstanding service. We look forward to connecting with customers as we continue to innovate and grow.”
The FDA warned Allergan in May 2015 about off-label marketing of the Seri scaffold for breast surgery indications, saying that this “would constitute a major change or modification to its intended use, for which your firm lacks clearance or approval.”
In September this year, Sofregen landed a $6.2 million Series A round to finance development of regenerative materials using silk fibroin, a protein found in silk from Bombyx mori silkworms. Researchers at Tufts, working with the U.S. Defense Dept.’s Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, observed that silk fibroin can be re-engineered into scaffolds for skin tissue. Sofregen hopes to use the engineered scaffolds to treat combat trauma injuries, remove scars, and erase wrinkles, according to the company.