Employees at Haifa-based medical technology start-up Sealantis.
(photo credit: NITZAN ZOHAR/TECHNION SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Sealantis, a Haifa-based company developing alga-mimetic medical adhesives based on technology from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, has been acquired for $25 million by British healthcare company Advanced Medical Solutions Group (AMS).
The deal announced Thursday is AMS’s first acquisition in Israel, and Sealantis will serve as an innovation center for the multinational group in the Jewish state.
Sealantis develops medical-device products for a variety of applications in surgical adhesion, mimicking the mechanism of adhesion of algae to rocks in water. The company was established under the leadership of Technion’s Prof. Havazelet Bianco-Peled, an expert in biomedical polymers.
“The journey of Sealantis is underway. The merger into AMS is an important milestone in the realization of our vision – to enable medical teams around the world to prevent serious surgical complications thanks to Sealantis’s products,” said CEO Tomer Fuchs.
“Following the merger, AMS will enjoy our scientific and engineering capabilities as an Israeli start-up company in the field of biotechnology, which includes innovation and the ability to bring simple and original solutions to complex challenges. AMS plans to expand operations in Israel, enabling it to expand into new, significant directions.”
Sealantis’s current focus is on surgical seals designed for a variety of applications such as stopping bleeding, preventing leakage of digestive tract contents into the abdominal cavity and preventing leakage of spinal fluid.
Based on a polymer produced from algae, which does not contain proteins, the risk of infection or allergy is significantly lower for the patient than other adhesive products produced from animals. The adhesives do not require refrigeration; are applied by either spreading or spraying; and are suitable for use in laparoscopic (also known as diagnostic) surgery.
“This is a fulfillment of a dream for me – not every day does a fundamental research project turn into an application and then a product,” said Bianco-Peled, who today is continuing her research in the field of developing polymers for medical applications.
“I had the opportunity to be involved in the development of a product intended to reach hospitals and to help patients... I was exposed to areas that I would not have known [about] if I [had] only stayed in the laboratory.”
Prof. Wayne Kaplan, executive vice president for Research at the Technion, added that the acquisition of Sealantis provides proof of the possible impact of university-level research on society and humankind.
“I am positive that Sealantis will serve as an example for faculty and students at the Technion, and academia as a whole, regarding the potential impact of science on society,” Kaplan said.
Founded in 1991, the AMS Group specializes in the design, development, manufacture and distribution of innovative wound-care products, including medical adhesives and sutures for closing and sealing tissue.
The company has been fully listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1996; in 2002 it moved to the exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) sub-market.