German dialysis products company Fresenius Medical Care has made an additional $25m investment to increase its stake in US-based medical company Humacyte.
In 2018, Fresenius Medical Care invested $150m in Humacyte and obtained a 19% fully diluted ownership stake. Apart from the equity investment, the companies entered a strategic alliance.
Humacyte has now agreed to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) allowing Fresenius Medical Care to grow its position in the combined company with the latest investment.
Fresenius Medical Care is the lead investor of private investment in public equity (PIPE) related to the merger. The company will exchange its original shares in Humacyte for shares in the merged entity.
Humacyte is working on implantable human acellular vessels to aid multiple vascular repair, reconstruction and replacement.
The implantable vessels are biologically generated blood vessels obtained from banked human smooth muscle cells. These vessels are made to be non-immunogenic and for ‘off the shelf’ availability dependent on patients’ requirements.
Currently, the investigational product is undergoing a clinical study as vascular access for haemodialysis patients, among other applications.
It is expected to demonstrate more effectiveness compared to standard synthetic grafts and fistulas in lowering infection and the use of a central venous catheter.
The product’s additional potential applications are reconstruction and repair from traumatic injury, and for implants in different vascular disease patients.
Humacyte intends to seek regulatory approval after the conclusion of late-stage clinical trials in the US and Europe.
Fresenius Medical Care global chief medical officer Franklin Maddux said: “Humacyte’s regenerative medicine technology has great potential in many areas of healthcare.
“We are committed to helping Humacyte achieve market approvals with this renewed investment, to bring their technology into the mainstream of health delivery. This will bring benefits worldwide in the care of patients needing repair or reconstruction of the human vasculature.”
In June, Fresenius Medical Care and Humacyte expanded their partnership.
Apart from vascular access and peripheral arterial disease applications, Fresenius Medical Care gained exclusive rights to commercialise the human acellular vessel outside of the US.