TELA Bio is a manufacturer that’s hoping to revolutionize the approach to all manner of procedures involving soft tissue. The company has caught the attention of many in the healthcare field, largely due to their OviTex Reinforced BioScaffold products, surgical implants comprised of both biologic and synthetic materials. The unique design allows for free movement of fluid and cells through the surface of the implant, greatly reducing the likelihood of lasting post-surgical pain.
As healthcare professionals seek out techniques and tools that can help steer patients away from opioids to manage chronic pain, the idea that the OviTex platform will lead to better recovery from hernioplasty is highly appealing.
The interest in TELA Bio was only heightened after Pacira Pharmaceuticals made headlines last year with a planned equity investment in the smaller company that could reach as high as $25 million.
“We believe the OviTex platform is a highly innovative and differentiated solution that is positioned to emerge as a leading surgical mesh that synergistically blends the strength of a synthetic with the regenerative properties of a biologic,” explains Dave Stack, chairman and CEO of Pacira Pharmaceuticals.
“Pacira is focused on offering innovative solutions that reduce, or in some cases, eliminate the need for opioids after surgery, and TELA Bio is advancing soft tissue reconstruction,” Stack adds. “Both companies are dedicated to developing technologies that represent significant treatment advancements in areas of unmet medical need within the surgical setting, such as soft tissue and breast reconstruction.”
Antony Koblish, co-founder, president, and CEO of TELA Bio, agrees the two companies are nicely aligned in terms of mission.
“We love the fact that both companies are focused on deep clinical problems and approaching them from an innovative manner,” he says.
Koblish notes an alignment between TELA Bio’s OviTex line and Pacira’s EXPAREL, a local analgesic administered at the time of surgery to combat pain without the use of opioids.
“We were very pleased that there’s so much overlap in the operating room,” says Koblish. “Many of our customers use EXPAREL. It seems there’s a very good fit in terms of synergy and communicating with surgeons who work on these soft tissue reconstruction problems.”
Ongoing communication with surgeons and other healthcare professionals with major responsibilities in the operating room is a major shared value of Pacira and TELA Bio, according to both companies. The plan is to continue on that track, providing healthcare professionals with all-encompassing, ever-evolving solutions.
“We can develop products from surgeon input very readily,” notes Koblish. “We focus on controlling the variables and the characteristics that surgeons will be interested in, such as the way a product feels, the way it drapes, the way it conforms, the way it absorbs fluid in the wound bed, the amount of strength it has in any direction, and its permeability.”
“Pacira has worked diligently within hospitals and alongside surgeons across the country to provide an opioid alternative to as many postsurgical patients as appropriate,” adds Stack. “As such, we have deep relationships and know-how in the hospital and acute care setting, including with experts specializing in relevant soft tissue procedures such as hernia repair, abdominal wall reconstruction, and breast reconstruction.”
With strong feedback loops already in place, the symbiotic relationship between Pacira Pharmaceuticals and TELA Bio has the potential to offer productive solutions for surgeons. With addressing unmet — or at least underserved — needs as a major goal, this partnership will be one to watch.