Watertown, Mass., October 26, 2011 – Arsenal Medical, a privately-held company developing novel biomaterial-based local therapies, announced today that it has spun out 480 Biomedical, Inc. as a stand-alone company focused on the development of a bioresorbable scaffold for treating occlusive disease in the superficial femoral artery (SFA).
Concurrently, both Arsenal Medical and 480 Biomedical completed financings. A $15 million round for 480 Biomedical will fund clinical studies for the SFA scaffold that are being initiated in 2011, and a $3 million round for Arsenal Medical will augment considerable grant support to advance its proprietary nanofiber-based drug delivery and therapeutic foam product platforms. Both financings were led by current Arsenal Medical investors Polaris Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Intersouth Partners. A new strategic investor also participated in the 480 Biomedical financing.
“The formation of 480 Biomedical further validates the substantial progress made by the Arsenal Medical team in translating cutting-edge materials science and innovative engineering into therapeutic products with important clinical benefits,” said Duke Collier, CEO of 480 Biomedical. “Now that our bioresorbable scaffold has reached the clinical stage, we felt it was appropriate to create an independent company to take it forward. Moreover, this new corporate structure strengthens Arsenal Medical’s ability to focus on its very exciting earlier stage programs.” Collier, who has been CEO of Arsenal Medical, and will continue as its Executive Chairman, previously served as executive vice president at Genzyme Corporation.
Dr. Maria Palasis, who has been leading research and development efforts at Arsenal Medical, will become the executive vice president and chief technology officer of 480 Biomedical. Prior to joining Arsenal, Dr. Palasis was a research and development director at Boston Scientific, where she managed a portfolio of strategic biotech alliances and medical device investments, and was responsible for the development of proprietary combination products.
480 Biomedical’s lead product is a completely bioresorbable, self-expanding scaffold and delivery system. This scaffold is initially being developed for the treatment of SFA occlusive disease, a common form of peripheral vascular disease affecting more than 10 million people worldwide. During the post-intervention healing period, the 480 Biomedical scaffold uniquely combines mechanical strength and flexibility, similar to nitinol stents, to hold open the artery. Unlike metal stents, however, which cannot be removed, the 480 Biomedical scaffold resorbs into the body in about a year. This combination of strength, flexibility and biocompatible resorption make the scaffold ideal for use in the SFA – a location that is subject to more complex vessel movement than coronary arteries.
"Bioresorbable scaffolding will be an important advance in the management of SFA occlusive disease, which is a very challenging anatomy to treat," said Michael Dake, M.D., medical director of the Catheterization and Angiography Laboratories at Stanford University and an advisor to 480 Biomedical. "This device has the potential to provide all the benefits of traditional stenting without the need for a permanent metal implant that serves no purpose once the healing process is complete."
The company expects to begin clinical testing of the scaffold in patients with SFA disease this year. Both bare and drug-eluting versions of the 480 Biomedical scaffold are in development.
Arsenal Medical’s continued focus will be on developing novel, locally acting therapeutic products built on the Axiocore™ nanofiber-based drug delivery platform and Arsenal’s novel therapeutic foam technology. Preclinical studies of both Axiocore™ and therapeutic foams have been initiated this year, with several high-value applications being investigated. In addition to venture funding, Arsenal is also supported by $10 million in grants from the Department of Defense, National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Technology Innovation Program (NIST-TIP) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. James Barry is joining Arsenal Medical as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Barry will be responsible for advancing Arsenal’s product pipeline into and through clinical development. Barry was the senior vice president of corporate technology development at Boston Scientific, where he spearheaded the TAXUS drug eluting stent development program, as well as a number of other novel local drug delivery projects.
“I am enthusiastic to be joining a very talented Arsenal team committed to improving and saving lives by developing locally-acting products and alternatives to systemic therapies,” said Dr. Barry. “I look forward to taking more products to the clinic with the same focus and rigor that generated the resorbable scaffold.”
Arsenal Medical is developing novel, locally acting therapeutic products designed to provide a more effective and targeted alternative to systemic therapies. The company is advancing multiple preclinical programs utilizing its proprietary AxioCore™ and therapeutic foam platforms. Arsenal Medical is supported by venture funding, as well as grants from the Department of Defense, National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Technology Innovation Program (NIST-TIP) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.