Vestagen Technical Textiles, Inc., announces that it raised an additional $7.3 million in an extension of its recent financing round. Existing investor Advent Life Sciences was joined in the extension by new investors Sofinnova HealthQuest Capital and the Clearwell Group. The extension brings the total raised by Vestagen in this financing round to $15.5 million; the company raised $8.25 million earlier this year. In conjunction with the financing extension, Randy Scott, partner at Sofinnova HealthQuest Capital, is joining the Vestagen board of directors.
The additional funds will support expanded commercialization of Vestex®, the first in a new class of active barrier protective fabrics for everyday use that are clinically proven to prevent or reduce the acquisition and retention of microbes and other contaminants. Vestex is engineered to have robust liquid repellency and embedded antimicrobial properties, along with enhanced breathability, good durability and affordability. The company’s initial focus is on medical scrubs and other protective apparel for healthcare workers, who are at daily risk of exposure to dangerous contaminants and who can unknowingly spread these contaminants to other workers, patients and family members.
“This financing extension reflects our investors’ confidence in the transformative potential of our Vestex fabric,” says Uncas B. Favret III, president and CEO of Vestagen. “Since our initial close we have recruited world-class executives who are advancing our product launch and partnering initiatives, as well as the FDA regulatory process for review of Vestex as a protective medical device. The response to date from potential customers and partners has been excellent, and we look forward to reporting on our progress in the coming months.”
Contaminated clothing is a known carrier of bacteria and healthcare workers have the highest rate of illness of any occupation in the U.S. Contamination with difficult-to-treat organisms such as MRSA puts workers at risk and is responsible for many of the most serious hospital acquired infections. A recent peer-reviewed published study confirmed that Vestex scrubs demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in MRSA of more than 99.99 percent compared to standard uniforms.
“Our Vestex fabric turns everyday uniforms into protective gear that guards workers and patients against the dangerous contaminants that are ubiquitous in healthcare settings, yet they are as good-looking, comfortable and durable as current market-leading scrubs,” notes Dale R. Pfost, PhD, executive chairman of Vestagen. “We are delighted that our expansive vision for the company is shared by such highly respected investors as Sofinnova’s HealthQuest Capital and the Clearwell Group. We look forward to working with new director Randy Scott, who has extensive experience as a successful healthcare technology entrepreneur that we will leverage to help grow the company.”
Vestex fabric incorporates three technologies – a durable fluid barrier, an antimicrobial and a technology for wearer comfort. The fluid barrier binds to individual fibers, resulting in a fabric that is highly repellent to bodily fluids, water, oil and dirt. This high repellency works synergistically with Vestagen’s embedded antimicrobial technology, which has been shown to be effective against a broad spectrum of organisms. Vestagen’s third technology wicks away moisture from inside the fabric and promotes evaporation, enhancing wearer comfort. These benefits are engineered to last for the life of the garment. Vestex fabric is suitable for a variety of applications, including healthcare, public safety and athletic use.
Alliance Healthcare Partners, V-Ten Capital Partners and Advent Life Sciences participated in the first round of the financing, which closed in August 2013.