HTL announces its incubator’s equity investment in GelMEDIX, an early-stage biotech aiming at revolutionizing ocular and regenerative therapies

11 March 2022
  • This partnership represents the first equity investment of an incubator created by HTL, pioneer and world leader in the development and production of innovative pharmaceutical grade biopolymers, to accelerate the development of innovative treatments using biopolymers in therapeutic areas with unmet medical needs.
  • HTL will provide financial, industrial and scientific support to GelMEDIX to facilitate the development of next generation ocular and regenerative therapies based on its proprietary hydrogel platform.

HTL Biotechnology, a pioneer and world leader in the development and production of innovative pharmaceutical grade biopolymers, today announced its incubator’s first equity investment in GelMEDIX Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company committed to developing the next generation of ocular and regenerative therapies.

This investment supports continued development of the GelMEDIX platform, which enables the delivery of therapeutics from small molecules to cell and gene therapies. Initial research focuses on ophthalmology with lead programs in vision restoring cornea and retina cell therapies and sustained release small molecule therapies.

GelMEDIX’s most advanced program is focused on developing a sustained release corticosteroid subconjunctival implant which aims to improve patient care in ocular surface inflammation (postoperative pain and inflammation, dry eye disease, allergic conjunctivitis). One drug-loaded implant replaces 70 patient administered eye drops over the course of one month.

“Instead of using drops, one easy treatment will be administered in the operating theater or in the clinic without any loss of efficacy. In addition to anti-inflammatories, the platform technology can be used for delivery of pro-regenerative therapies that restore ocular health” said Reza Dana, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., Scientific Co-founder of GelMEDIX. “As such, this product represents one of the most promising innovations deriving from our proprietary hydrogel platform.”

This initial implant constitutes only one of the several research opportunities deriving from GelMEDIX’s proprietary photocrosslinkable hydrogel platform, which uniquely enables tunable bioadhesion, tissue regeneration, and biodegradation. HTL’s partnership with GelMEDIX also facilitates the development of new applications in regenerative medicine both in ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas.

HTL’s incubator will support GelMEDIX through a direct investment and industrial and scientific support throughout its development thanks to its expertise in biopolymers and ophthalmology sectors. HTL will also produce methacrylate hyaluronic acid, a key component for tailoring application specific parameters across the GelMEDIX pipeline including viscosity, bioadhesion, and therapeutic release profiles. Additionally, HTL will help GelMEDIX in the industrialization of its hydrogel production.

“It is an honor to have the support of such a renowned company as HTL. Beyond the financial aspect, its keen understanding of ophthalmology issues, its industrial know-how and the high quality of its products are all crucial assets to accelerate GelMEDIX’s development,” said Arthur Driscoll, President and Chief Development Officer of GelMEDIX.

HTL’s participation will be joined by another equity investment from the venture fund Safar Partners. “The pioneering advancements GelMEDIX is making in the development of ocular and regenerative therapies will lead to dramatic improvements in how these treatments are administered to patients,” said Nader Motamedy, a Safar Managing Partner. “The GelMEDIX hydrogel platform is the kind of transformative healthcare technology that Safar Partners highly values – as both a long-term position for our portfolio as well as a development that will improve global health.”

HTL’s incubator is a financial vehicle allowing HTL to take minority investments in innovative biotechs in the biopolymer sector, either as seed funds or as series A investments. The incubator also aims to support these biotechs thanks to HTL’s unique knowledge and expertise in the production of biopolymers.

“Innovation is the core of HTL’s DNA, which is why we aim at supporting tomorrow’s medicine by investing in biotechs that are pushing away the limits of biopolymer use in the medical sector,” said Charles Ruban, Deputy CEO of HTL. “We are really excited about this partnership with GelMEDIX, which is a perfect example of the type of biotechs to which we wish to provide strategic and financial support”.

This incubator represents one of the strategic axes of HTL’s ambitious R&D strategy which positions the French company as the global driver of innovation in the biopolymer sector, developing new markets and applications for biopolymers to address unmet medical needs. The company also relies on its state-of-theart research facility and numerous partnerships with entities at the forefront of world research to nurture its biopolymer platform for the healthcare industry.