OrbiMed Backs Velico Medical

Sells Rights to Receive Royalties to Major Institutional Investor

Velico logo

Velico Medical Inc. sold some of its royalty rights to OrbiMed Advisors LLC for an unspecified amount.

CFO Tom Fitzgerald told MassDevice.com that the Beverly, Mass.-based firm plans to use the cash to shift its focus from developing its flagship “universal blood” technology to a pair of technologies it thinks it can bring to market faster.

“We’re planning to use the proceeds to advance our near-term clinical programs for spray-dried plasma and a refrigerated platelet technology,” Fitzgerald said, adding that Velico still has some development work to do on the spray-dried plasma technology before beginning clinical trials.

“We’re not ready to start the trials today with the plasma, but we could begin that process today for the refrigerated platelets, which is the lead dog in the race, if you will,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ve still got some further development on the plasma which we’re in the process of completing now.”

Founded as ZymeQuest Inc. in 1993, Fitzgerald said the company started using the Velico brand last year before the name became official Jan. 1 of this year.

“We concluded that we really ought to re-position ourselves to reflect the focus on these newer technologies we think we can get to market much faster and for less capital investment,” he said.

The company’s flagship “universal blood” technology is a method of altering Type A or Type B blood into Type O blood, which can be transfused into patients of any blood type.

“We have an enzyme technology that enables us to convert into Type O. Not only can we, but we have done it and transfused safely into humans under clinical trials,” Fitzgerald said. “It was and is a very interesting technology that has advanced considerably, but it’s going to take more time and money to advance those technologies than is available in the foreseeable future.”