Sofregen Medical said yesterday that it landed a $6.2 million Series A round from Polaris Partners and other founding investors, bringing their total funding raised to more than $11 million.
The Medford, Mass.-based company was founded in 2014 to advance silk-based medical technology developed at Tufts University and the University of Pittsburgh for soft tissue defects.
It also raised $1.6 million from seed investors and agreed on a $3.5 million in bank debt financing to fund technology made from what Sofregen calls “nature’s healing fiber”.
The company aims to regenerate soft tissue defects using the biomaterial properties of 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.
“The opportunities to use silk as the foundational material in repairing soft tissue are extremely promising,” chairman Howard Weisman said in prepared remarks. “Silk fiber has been proven to be strong, flexible and biocompatible in a wide variety of surgical procedures. With this technology, we will be providing better solutions for physicians and greater hope for patients.”
“We are excited about Sofregen’s vision of building a platform of silk-based products that address some of the most sensitive medical and aesthetic needs of millions of patients worldwide,” added Polaris partner Amir Nashat, who is also a member of the Sofregen board. “We are delighted to work with a proven partner such as Howard Weisman again, and his team is well-positioned to translate this superior science into a market reality.”
Sofregen isn’t the 1st silk-based medical tech to come out of Tufts. The SeriScaffold, a silk-based surgical mesh designed to repair and remodel damaged connective tissue later acquired by Allergan, was developed by Serica Technologies, a spinout from the school’s biomedical engineering lab run by David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto.