Company Founded by BMS Faculty Member Secures $6 Million in Initial Round of Investment Funding

Friday, March 31, 2023

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Sherry, wearing a lab cat, safety glasses, and gloves, holds up a collagen sheet
Professor Sherry Harbin, who has a joint appointment in the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, shows a high-strength collagen sheet fabricated from the proprietary collagen polymer technology that the start-up company, GeniPhys, is commercializing. (Purdue Research Foundation/Vincent Walter)

GeniPhys, a company established by Dr. Sherry Harbin, who holds a joint appointment as professor of basic medical sciences in the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of biomedical engineering in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, has raised $6 million in the form of a first round of venture money. The Series A round funding will support the launch of the company’s initial product into the market, expand its team, and invest in manufacturing and regulatory capabilities.

GeniPhys has developed a polymerizable collagen called Collymer, which can be designed and fabricated into materials with a variety of shapes, architectures, and mechanical properties. It addresses unmet needs in markets like wound management, surgical reconstruction, orthopedics, cardiovascular, ENT (ears, nose and throat), and therapeutic cell and drug delivery. Pier 70 Ventures and Elevate Ventures participated in the Series A round, along with multiple individual investors. 

Collymer represents a patented, highly purified form of collagen that self-assembles (polymerizes) to form stable, fibrillar collagen scaffolds. Collymer materials have been extensively tested in preclinical models, repeatedly demonstrating the ability to provide long-lasting, non-inflammatory environments that support site appropriate tissue generation. As a biopolymer, Collymer can be designed and fabricated into materials with a variety of shapes, architectures, and mechanical properties, providing tremendous flexibility. “Collymer represents a paradigm shift in how we think about healing and regenerative medicine. We are grateful to this group of investors that share our vision and commitment to improving patient care,” said Andrew Eibling, GeniPhys President and CEO.

Shaun Hawkins, managing partner at Pier 70 Ventures and new member of the GeniPhys Board of Directors said, “This technology brings an innovative ‘regenerative surgical reconstruction’ solution that is non-inflammatory, non-immune stimulating, and fully customizable to meet both patients’ and surgeons’ needs.”

GeniPhys is an early-stage medical technology company located in Zionsville, Indiana. The company’s Collymer technology is based on research conducted in Dr. Harbin’s lab. Materials prepared from the proprietary collagen polymer promote tissue integration and generation while avoiding inflammation, fibrosis and scarring. The manufacturing process of Collymer allows the fabrication of multiple implantable material formats and has demonstrated the ability to deliver pharmaceutical and cell-based therapies.

“Elevate is impressed by the complementary skills in the leadership team critical for a start-up’s success,” said Kristin Eilenberg, entrepreneur-in-residence for Elevate Ventures. “Dr. Harbin is an acclaimed scientific pioneer in this field. Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and executive with experience in developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics and medical devices. This combination of talent and leadership is unparalleled.” Pier 70 Ventures is focused on a differentiated investment strategy that drives financial returns, supports diverse entrepreneurs and employees, and provides local impact to communities. Elevate Ventures is the number one most active seed and early-stage investor in the Great Lakes region and is ranked 24th in the United States. The firm assists high-growth startups and early-stage companies expand into high-performing enterprises. Elevate has invested over $150 million in more than 500 companies.

Writer(s): Purdue Veterinary Medicine News

Source: GeniPhys

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