Mount Pleasant biotech firm reloads with nearly $12M fundraising round

Posted by on Apr 22, 2019

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC – A Mount Pleasant biotechnology firm that specializes in regenerative medicine raised $11.7 million in fresh capital last month for product development and other purposes.

FirstString Research is developing a topical gel called Granexin designed to help wounds heal faster.

Gautam Ghatnekar, co-founder and CEO, said “late-phase” studies are continuing this year for the product, focusing on diabetic foot ulcers and scar reduction.

The new round of funding will be used for the final research, to advance the company’s product pipeline and for general corporate purposes, he said.

The gel works by restoring communication between cells to prevent the spread of injury and “reboot” the healing process. This is a key part of the body’s response.

Granexin has not yet gone through the approvals process by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will be required before it can be sold to patients. The firm is moving toward submitting an application to the agency, Ghatnekar said.

FistString is a spin-off from lab research developed at the Medical University of South Carolina, where Ghatnekar and his colleagues discovered a topical gel that healed wounds faster than usual in lab mice. They were awarded their first two patents in 2011.

FirstString employs a staff of eight in the area.

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