Medcura, a Riverdale-based medical device company, recently closed on $7.4 million in a Series A financing round that will help advance its products, which are designed to stop bleeding and treat wounds.
Based out of a facility in the University of Maryland College Park-adjacent Discovery District, the company’s core technology was initially developed at the university’s engineering school. Now, it is building from a “foundation” that includes intellectual property, regulatory clearances and manufacturing of its core ingredient at the space, which it opened in April 2020, said CEO Larry Tiffany.
“That foundation is built to allow us to deliver products to the market,” Tiffany said, adding that the company is focused on building “the right products for the right market verticals.”
From the foundation, the company takes its technology and applies a question: What’s the best tool to put in the hands of the injured person or a caregiver that can stop the bleeding from happening, and also create an antibacterial environment to reduce likelihood of infection and improve healing?
One of the results is a consumer-facing product. In July, it entered a partnership with first aid product manufacturer ASO for its gel, called Rapid-Seal. This will make it available online, and through a leading U.S. drugstore chain. (The name of the store wasn’t disclosed.)
It is also developing products for use by surgeons. One, called LifeFoam, is designed for internal traumatic and military injuries. Following development with the U.S. military, it has received breakthrough device designation for the product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the funding will help to continue its development. A third product, called LifeGel, is also being developed for use during more routine surgical procedures.
The funding will help the company expand its team, which currently includes six full-time members and 10 others in part-time and contract capacities. It is seeking technical talent, both as it takes the gel product to market and prepares to enter clinical trials for others in the pipeline.
The round included participation from Farmers For Innovation Fund, a South Dakota-based fund whose managing partner David Kolsrud called the company an “ideal investment for us.” It also included return investors from the company’s $3.1 million round in 2017, when it was called gel-e, as well as family offices and individual surgeons.
As it has grown, the company has remained rooted in Maryland. It was incubated at UMD and has benefitted from programs to support startups like the state government’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit. Now it is based in the university’s innovation district, with all of the full-time team members living and working in the state.
“We’re a very Maryland-focused company,” Tiffany said.-30-