- SurgaColl announced the completion of a £3.1 million Series A round in January 2018, which includes investments from GM&C Life Sciences Fund and Julz Co.
- The investment will enable the medical device company to progress its pipeline of collagen-based regenerative products and build up its team.
- William (Bill) Allan, Chief Executive Officer at SurgaColl, sat down with Biotech and Money to discuss the funding round and the company’s objectives over the year ahead.
Medical device company SurgaColl began 2018 with the announcement that it had successfully completed a Series A funding round, raising a total of £3.1 million. SurgaColl focuses on the development and commercialisation of collagen-based products for orthopaedic indications, including cartilage repair. Its product pipeline includes ChondroColl™, a biomaterial scaffold for the regeneration of knee cartilage, and bone graft substitute HydroxyColl™. The company was founded in 2012 as a spin-out from the Tissue Engineering Research Group at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The funds raised through the Series A round will contribute to the continued development of SurgaColl’s products and support the company’s growth trajectory. William (Bill) Allan, Chief Executive Officer, says: “It’s critical to the next phase of growth as it will enable us to build the team, progress our clinical phase development, and enable us to develop a number of new product lines to meet customer needs.”
The financing round was led by UK-based GM&C Life Sciences Fund, which is managed by Catapult Ventures, and includes investment from VC firm Julz Co., which focuses on healthcare investments across Europe, the US, and China. SurgaColl was first introduced to Julz Co. at Biotech and Money’s flagship conference in February 2017.
The backing of these investors marks a shift for the company. “Previously, there were seed investors and angels, so the whole character of the company changes,” explains Allan. “That’s a positive, but also a lot of change.” Both GM&C Life Sciences Fund and Julz Co. specialise in the healthcare sector, and members of their executive teams have medical backgrounds, an attribute that Allan sees as bringing alignment between the parties in terms of their focus on and understanding of the patient. “I think it does help to have that understanding of the patient angle and the procedure, other than just the technology and the money,” he adds.
The next steps for SurgaColl
Over the year ahead, in addition to growing its team, SurgaColl plans to progress its clinical studies to key milestones and execute its product development plans. This will build on previous milestones, such as the first-in-man implant of HydroxyColl™. As of early February 2018, the bone graft product had been implanted into 20 patients, reports Allan.
SurgaColl has already received CE approval for HydroxyColl™ and ChondroColl™ is currently undergoing the CE mark approval process. Over the longer term, the company also aims to gain approval for ChondroColl™ in the US.
For Allan, the benefits that this technology can bring to patients are clear, and it is this that he also sees as a key factor in attracting investors to support the development of the company and its products. “The user need is absolutely clear, and it’s not being met at this stage. There are a number of technologies and solutions chasing that need but it hasn’t been solved yet, so there’s a significant business opportunity,” says Allan. “Clearly, we want to do something that makes a difference to people’s lives. Osteoarthritis and incapacity due to knee injuries, particularly cartilage injury, is very common and it’s not getting fixed.”