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Kudos to Biomedical Engineer, Paul Gratzer

Posted by Jennifer Moore on November 13, 2013 in Research

Featured in The Chronicle Herald  

DeCell Technologies Inc., a Halifax biotech startup that is improving skin grafts for wound treatment, has landed about $500,000 in investment to finance clinical trials and its first processing system.

President and CEO Paul Gratzer said in an interview Wednesday that the company has landed a $250,000 equity investment from Innovacorp. It has also received financing from private individuals, including long-standing biotech entrepreneur Steve Arless of Montreal, who has joined the company’s board.

Gratzer said the financing marks an initial close of DeCell’s seed round, but it is leaving the round open for other investors to come in at the same terms as the existing investors. It hopes the total round will be worth about $1.2 million, including equity investments and funding from government programs.

“This is an essential step toward commercializing our product by providing funding to do our first clinical trials … as well as getting our manufacturing system fully complete,” said Gratzer. “It is the first big step toward entering the commercial world.”

DeCell’s first product, DermGen, uses patented technology to quickly and affordably cure chronic foot ulcers, which are a common and dangerous ailment for diabetics.

DermGen is a natural scaffolding made from donated human skin that can be placed over the ulcer to encourage the regeneration of skin cells and keep the wound clean to avoid infection. It is free of bacteria and viruses, and has no chance of being rejected by the patient.

The company’s early studies indicate that DermGen not only reduces complications during the healing process but also is cheaper than other competitive products on the market.

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