TISSIUM, a privately-owned life science company developing fully synthetic, biomorphic programmable polymers, announced today that they have received funding from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Ventures, a funding mechanism intended to accelerate the discovery and development of novel research-based products with the potential to alleviate suffering caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The funding will support TISSIUM’s development of solutions that address the unmet medical needs of Crohn’s patients.
Perianal disease, including anal fistulas, is one of the most debilitating manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease. A fistulectomy, the current gold standard of care, is associated with chronic side effects such as postoperative fecal incontinence due to damage to the sphincter. TISSIUM will be evaluating a novel biomaterial-based solution to promote fistula healing without diminishing continence or damaging the sphincter. This technology will be based on TISSIUM’s biomorphic programmable polymers.
“We believe the TISSIUM technology platform has the potential to transform the way fistulas are treated. Patients are often met with the dilemma of receiving an effective treatment, at the expense of fecal incontinence and other health and quality of life challenges,” said Gerard Honig, Associate Director of Research Innovation for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “We are encouraged by TISSIUM’s novel approach to develop a technique to promote fistula healing and address the pressing clinical need.”
The TISSIUM platform leverages proprietary technology, initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, that serves as the foundation of a family of fully synthetic, biomorphic and programmable polymers. These polymers are designed to be used inside the body as sealants, adhesives, barriers, plugs or as a vehicle for drug delivery, as well as implantable devices created outside of the body using 3D printing technology.
Christophe Bancel, CEO of TISSIUM, said, “This partnership and support from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation will help us continue to innovate and expand our already vast technology platform. We look forward to continuing to expand our relationship with the Foundation, developing better therapeutic options that meet the needs of IBD patients.”
“We aim to leverage our programmable polymer platform to revolutionize how tissue repair happens in the body, supporting healing while limiting trauma for a better long-term outcome for the patient. Leveraging the adhesive and tissue ingrowth properties of our polymer formulations, we aim to design a more effective solution for patients,” said Chief Innovation Officer, Maria Pereira.
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, is estimated to affect more than 3 million people in the United States, with as many as 70,000 new cases diagnosed each year. While the causes of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are not entirely understood, both are associated with chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, with symptoms that include abdominal pain, increased stool frequency, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and fatigue. Currently available medications alleviate inflammation and reduce symptoms, but do not provide a cure or prevent longterm complications, and some have severe adverse effects, including increased risk of infection and malignancy. Thus, there continues to be a high unmet medical need for additional oral agents that are safe and effective for the induction and maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and for additional technology solutions to address unmet needs for this patient population.
About The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation:
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for the more than 3 million Americans living with IBD. Our work is dramatically accelerating the research process through our database and investment initiatives; we also provide extensive educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org