January 3, 2018

CT Children's invests in Mass. biotech company

Connecticut Children's Medical Center said it has invested in a Holliston, Mass.-based biotechnology company that's developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers and other life-threatening conditions of the esophagus, bronchus and trachea.

Biostage Inc. announced the funding on Wednesday along with the closing of a private placement with a group of investors from China totaling about $4.1 million. Connecticut Children's also participated in the transaction, purchasing additional securities, valued at $100,000, bringing the total placement to $4.2 million.

Jim McGorry, Biostage's CEO, said the capital infusion has "returned the company to a position of solvency" and will advance its pediatric and adult esophageal product candidates. "The company's operations going forward will be of a more efficient size and structure, which we expect will allow us to move at a fast pace while reducing our cash burn rate," he said.

He called Connecticut Children's investment "a tremendous endorsement of our co-development work on pediatric esophageal atresia with Dr. Christine Finck and her team."

Finck, surgeon in chief of Connecticut Children's, commented, "Our hospital is committed to translating this novel technology to the clinic to address esophageal atresia in children, and our investment reflects that commitment. There is a tremendous unmet medical need for kids suffering with pediatric esophageal atresia in Connecticut and across the world. The research happening at Connecticut using this technology shows promise of one day dramatically improving their care and condition."

Esophageal atresia is a devastating congenital defect that causes infants to be born with a gap between their esophagus and stomach and affects about 1 in 2,500 to 3,500 live births, according to Biostage.

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