HTL announces the acquisition of its incubator’s stake in GelMEDIX, an early-stage biotechnology aimed at revolutionizing ocular and regenerative therapies

– This partnership represents the first equity investment of an incubator created by HTL, a pioneer and world leader in the development and production of innovative pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers, to accelerate the development of innovative treatments using biopolymers in therapeutic areas with needs unsatisfied doctors.

– HTL will provide financial, industrial and scientific support to GelMEDIX to facilitate the development of next-generation ocular and regenerative therapies based on its proprietary hydrogel platform.

JAVENE, France, March 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — HTL biotechnology, a pioneer and global leader in the development and production of innovative pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers, announced today first equity investment by its incubator in GelMEDIX Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company committed to developing the next generation of ocular and regenerative therapies.

This investment supports the continued development of the GelMEDIX platform, which enables the delivery of therapies ranging from small molecules to cell and gene therapies. The first research focused on ophthalmology with lead vision restoration programs, corneal and retinal cell therapies, and sustained-release small molecule therapies.

GelMEDIX’s most advanced program is focused on the development of a sustained-release corticosteroid subconjunctival implant that aims to improve the management of patients in the event of inflammation of the ocular surface (postoperative pain and inflammation, dry eye, allergic conjunctivitis). One drug-loaded implant replaces 70 eye drops given to the patient over the course of a month.

“Instead of using drops, a simple treatment will be delivered in the operating room or clinic without any loss of efficacy. In addition to anti-inflammatories, the platform’s technology can be used to deliver pro-regenerative therapies that restore eye health.” noted Reza Dana, MD, MPH, M.Sc., scientific co-founder of GelMEDIX. “As such, this product represents one of the most promising innovations sourced from our proprietary hydrogel platform.”

This initial implant is just one of many research opportunities arising from GelMEDIX’s proprietary light-curing hydrogel platform, which uniquely enables tunable bioadhesion, tissue regeneration and biodegradation. HTL’s partnership with GelMEDIX also facilitates the development of new applications in regenerative medicine both in ophthalmology and in other therapeutic areas.

HTL’s incubator will support GelMEDIX through direct investment and industrial and scientific support throughout its development thanks to its expertise in the biopolymer and ophthalmology sectors. HTL goes also produce hyaluronic acid methacrylate, a key component for tailoring application-specific parameters in the GelMEDIX pipeline, including viscosity, bioadhesion, and therapeutic release profiles. In addition, HTL will help GelMEDIX in the industrialization of its hydrogel production.

It is an honor to have the support of such a renowned company like HTL. Beyond the financial aspect, its in-depth understanding of ophthalmological issues, its industrial know-how and the high quality of its products are all assets. crucial assets to accelerate the development of GelMEDIX,” noted Arthur DriscollPresident and Chief Development Officer of GelMEDIX.

HTL’s stake will be joined by another equity investment from the venture capital fund Safar Partners. “Pioneering advances GelMEDIX manufactures in the development of ocular and regenerative therapies will lead to dramatic improvements in how these treatments are delivered to patients,” noted Nader MotamediSafar manager. “The GelMEDIX hydrogel platform is the type of transformative healthcare technology that Safar Partners highly values ​​– both as a long-term position for our portfolio and as a development that will improve global health.

HTL’s incubator is a financial vehicle for HTL to take minority investments in innovative biotechs in the biopolymer sector, either as seed funds or as Series A investments. The incubator also aims to support these biotechs thanks to HTL’s know-how and unique expertise in the production of biopolymers.

Innovation is at the heart of HTL’s DNAthat’s why we aim to support the medicine of tomorrow by investing in biotechnologies that push the limits of the use of biopolymers in the medical sector,” noted Charles Ribbon, deputy general manager of HTL. “We are really excited about this partnership with GelMEDIX, which is a perfect example of the type of biotechs to which we wish to provide strategic and financial support“.

This incubator represents one of the strategic axes of HTL’s ambitious R&D strategy which positions the French company as the global driver of innovation in the biopolymers sector, develop new markets and applications for biopolymers Address unmet medical needs. The company also relies on its state-of-the-art research center and numerous partnerships with entities at the forefront of global research to nurture its biopolymer platform for the health sector.

About biopolymers and hyaluronic acid
Biopolymers include several types of substances produced naturally by the cells of living organisms. Among them, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are known for their lubricating and shock-absorbing characteristics, as well as their natural biodegradability within the human body. This is the case, for example, of hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan or HA), a natural substance present in the human body with many biological functions such as hydration of the skin or lubrication of joints and eye tissue.

HTL product GAG by biofermentationan alternative to animal extraction that maintains the quality required for pharmaceutical grade, allowing biopolymers to be injected into patients and used as ingredients for the development of medical treatments. The chemical properties of biopolymers can also be customized by HTL’s R&D teams to precisely meet the needs of customers and their patients.

Today, the biopolymers developed and produced by HTL are used to produce treatments that improve the lives of millions of patients in many areas, such as ophthalmology (cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, dry eye treatment…), rheumatology (treatment of osteoarthritis), urology (treatment of vesicoureteral reflux, a rare pediatric congenital disease), or in cosmetic surgery (dermal fillers). Biopolymers are also at the heart of several research programs focused on breakthrough innovations in medicine such as bio-printing and regenerative medicine, Creation of fabrics as well as delivery of drugs and stem cells.

About GelMEDIX
GelMEDIX Inc. is a start-up biotechnology company committed to innovation new generation of ocular and regenerative therapies through his proprietary hydrogel platform. GelMEDIX programs are based on its light-crosslinked hydrogels, originally developed by Prof. Nasim Annabi (UCLA) and Prof. Reza Dana (Eye and Ear Mass, Harvard Medical School). These hydrogels uniquely enable bioadhesion, tissue regeneration, tunable mechanics, and therapeutic loading in all modalities, from small molecules to cell and gene therapies. GelMEDIX develops drugs for through-the-eye indications focused on cell therapies for vision restoration, sustained intraocular release of small molecules and peptides, and in situ formation of bioadhesives. GelMEDIX is backed by Safar Partners and HTL Biotechnology along with leading angel investors and is currently raising Series A funding. GelMEDIX is based in Cambridge, MA.United States For more information, please inquire at [email protected] or visit https://gelmedix.com

About HTL
HTL is a leading biotechnology and industrial player in the development and production of innovative pharmaceutical grade biopolymers which are used by leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies to transform the lives of millions of patients in multiple therapeutic areas such as ophthalmology, dermatology, medical aesthetics, rheumatology and urology.

HTL is at the forefront of innovation in the biopolymer industry to meet tomorrow’s medical needs by creating new types of biopolymers and chemical modifications, while exploring the untapped potential of biopolymers in innovative applications such as bioprinting or drug delivery.

HTL has a long history in France and in Javené (Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany) where its production and R&D activities are located. Nearly 180 employees work on this site.

To learn more about HTL: https://htlbiotech.com/

About Safar Partners
Safar Partners is a seed-stage and growth-stage venture capital fund that invests primarily in technology companies MIT, Harvardand the University of Rochester. Safar leverages private equity principles to create value as our businesses evolve beyond initial prototypes. We are accelerating the scaling of our portfolio companies through the formation of spin-outs or joint ventures to address additional markets, industries or geographies. To learn more about Safar Partners, visit https://www.safar.partners

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