Rocky Hill, Conn., September 26, 2011 – Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development, today announced that it has made a follow-on investment of $750,000 in Soft Tissue Regeneration Inc. (STR) of New Haven, Conn., through its Eli Whitney Fund. This investment is part of a round of up to $2.5 million led by CI and Philadelphia-based MentorTech Ventures II LP. Other investors in this round include the New Haven branch of LaunchCapital and individual investors.
“This investment will allow STR to continue its successful animal studies and begin European clinical trials in September 2012,” explained Joseph W. Reilly, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of STR. He further stated, “The team at CI has been invaluable in supporting STR’s activities as partners in developing our technologies in Connecticut.”
STR is advancing a breakthrough technology to treat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The company’s patented and proprietary technology, exclusively licensed on a worldwide basis from Drexel University, addresses many issues associated with autografts (tissue transplanted from one part of a patient’s body to another) and allografts (tissue transplanted from a cadaver).
STR’s product, the L-C Ligament®, is a biocompatible and degradable synthetic braided scaffold that is surgically attached to the femur and tibia bones when replacing the patient’s torn ACL. The scaffold stabilizes the knee and facilitates the regeneration of ligament tissue – ultimately resulting in faster, improved healing. With an estimated 800,000 ACL reconstruction surgeries performed annually around the globe and an active, aging population, there is a strong and growing market for STR’s product.
Reilly was pleased to announce that, for the first time, STR recently demonstrated the complete regeneration of a native, natural and load-carrying ACL using a degradable synthetic polymeric construct.
“Since relocating to Connecticut two years ago, STR has made significant strides in advancing its groundbreaking orthopaedic technology,” said Peter Longo, president and executive director of CI. “We are encouraged by the trials conducted to date and have great confidence in the company’s talented group of executives, scientists and board advisors.”
The company’s scientific team is led by its scientific founder Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Laurencin is director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut Health Center and the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. An orthopaedic surgeon and engineer, he was recently designated a University Professor by the Board of Trustees at University of Connecticut.
STR is also leveraging its technology platform to develop a suite of complementary follow-on products that will facilitate the regrowth of other injured ligaments and tendons, including a recently developed biodegradable rotator cuff augmentation device.
Russell Tweeddale, CI managing director of investments, will continue to represent CI on STR’s board of directors.
About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is a quasi-public organization dedicated to driving a vibrant, entrepreneurial, technology-based economy in Connecticut. CI stimulates high-tech growth by investing in early-stage Connecticut technology companies, university/industry research collaborations and technology transfer and collaborating with government, business, nonprofit and academic organizations to advance technology growth and promote public policies consistent with CI’s mission. For more information on CI, please visit www.ctinnovations.com.
About Soft Tissue Regeneration
Soft Tissue Regeneration Inc. (STR) is a privately held medical device company defining new technology for the soft tissue regeneration segment of the sports medicine market. The company has developed and tested a breakthrough technology for regeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee. The company was founded in 2008. For more information, please go to www.softtissueregeneration.com.