Mellon Medical secures € 6 million for market introduction of innovation in surgical suture technology
3 October 2017, Nijmegen, The Netherlands – Mellon Medical, a Dutch MedTech developer of a platform technology for suturing with one hand, has raised € 6 million to advance its patented ground breaking global innovation in suturing technology. Leading product, the Switch®, a single use precision-suturing instrument, enables surgeons to suture tubular and layered structures about twice as fast as the conventional technique. The financing round was led by Dutch life sciences and health investor BioGeneration Partners (BGV), and other investors were former Allergan CEO and private investor David Pyott, and existing shareholders Thuja Capital, PPM Oost, and Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (Brabant Development Company). BGV partner Oskar Slotboom will join Mellon’s Supervisory Board.
Mellon will introduce its technology in an 8cm Switch® model, initially focusing on three vascular indications: carotid artery surgery, kidney transplant and peripheral bypass surgery. Although market introduction is focused on vascular surgery, Mellon’s platform technology can be used in a broad range of other disciplines, like general surgery, micro surgery, urology, gynecology, coronary artery bypass surgery and neurosurgery. The annual worldwide sutures and suturing devices market size is estimated at $3 billon by 2020.
The technology is expected to reduce the risk of complications, for instance reduced clamp time for many cardiovascular procedures, resulting in improved patient outcome and a reduction of costs. Mellon expects market introduction of the Switch® in late 2019/early 2020, once final development and CE certification process have been completed. Mellon plans for FDA approval within two years after obtaining CE mark.
Mark Vrancken Peeters, vascular surgeon and Mellon’s founder and Chief Medical Officer, comments on the new financing round: “We very much welcome BGV and David Pyott as new investors in our company. The support of these two high class and qualified investors in healthcare innovations, together with our existing shareholders, truly bolsters our confidence in the success of the Switch®. By collaborating with medical specialists, industrial designers and ergonomic experts in the development of the Switch®, Mellon has been able to reinvent suturing, bringing suturing technology into the 21st century. We believe our innovative platform suturing technology will improve patient outcome and reduce overall healthcare costs.”
Oskar Slotboom, partner at BGV and Supervisory Board member of Mellon Medical comments: “Mellon has demonstrated a highly innovative suturing concept, which is based on advanced technological insights from vascular surgeons, in an area where little innovation has taken place. It fits well with our funds’ focus on truly innovative products that have the potential to positively impact patient care.”
David Pyott, former CEO of Allergan Inc. and private investor says: “The strength of the award winning Switch® technology, combined with the scientific and entrepreneurial expertise of the Mellon founding team, caught my attention when considering a participation in this financing round. For my investments, I look for differentiated technology that should improve patient outcomes as well as reducing cost. Mellon’s health economics story is compelling.”
Conventional suturing versus The Switch®
Classical suturing is a complex process and takes a long time to learn. Focus is on getting control over the needle. Surgeons using conventional suturing techniques need many coordinated motions using both hands in order to place a single suture. On average, 30% of the operation time is spent on suturing.
Mellon has managed to reinvent the technique of suturing and has already received several international innovation awards for this new invention, including one from the vascular surgeon community during last years’ Charing Cross International Symposium for Vascular Surgery in London.