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News release by The Launch Place
The Launch Place, a venture development organization with offices in Danville, VA, and Research Triangle Park, NC, has invested $250,000 from their Seed Fund II in the transformative biomaterials startup BioAesthetics. Since it started, The Launch Place has made investments in innovative, high growth startups in information technology, medical device, green technology, manufacturing and other sectors.
BioAesthetics offers a product that exists at the intersection of biomedical engineering and breast reconstruction. The Nipple Areolar Complex (NAC) Graft is a realistic nipple that offers a permanent solution for breast cancer patients undergoing breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. The NACgraftTM allows for a patient’s cells to grow into the biologically-derived collagen graft, which creates blood vessels and skin to become a living NAC. This process is unique in the industry, as the NACgraftTM is a living structure and not a prosthetic. The graft can be transplanted by a reconstructive breast surgeon and over time will integrate into the patient’s body, without the need for immunosuppressive drugs.
Dr. Nick Pashos, Founder and CEO of BioAesthetics, has a background in biomedical engineering and was a Ph.D. candidate at Tulane University when he saw a documentary on breast removal that had a life-altering effect on him. Pashos said he went and changed his focus of study, from lung regeneration to NAC regeneration, the next day and has not looked back since 2013.
BioAesthetics currently holds one patent and has two pending. While the company works in the biomedical space, the NACgraftTM would typically be engrafted on patients at the end or long after their breast cancer treatment has concluded. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, which could result in a mastectomy. The current standard for breast reconstruction is to form a nipple from flaps of breast skin and then apply coloring through tattooing.
While breast cancer impacts millions of women in the US alone, this product offers a way to move forward and help a patient feel whole again. Pashos shared that BioAesthetics provides a regenerative medicine for breast cancer survivors and offers clients a product that can lift their spirits. The goal of BioAesthetics’ NACgraftTM is to help provide a total and complete breast restoration.
“Quality of life products are often overlooked, but they are still important to survivors,” said Pashos. “Breast cancer is a truly terrible disease, but the nice part in reconstruction is that it is a happier side of the treatment process. Breast cancer survivors are some of the strongest individuals we have ever met, and we really enjoy meeting and working with them.”
Any woman who is currently undergoing reconstructive surgery or has undergone it in the past is likely eligible for this graft. The NACgraftTM can be matched to the patient’s preference. As a living NAC, it will have a natural appearance and will feel real to the touch. The hope is that the NACgraft will be significantly covered by insurance providers as part of the patient’s breast reconstruction.
The Launch Place is one of many ventures that have seen the potential of BioAesthetics. The Launch Place joins several other investors to back this product and help push it through the long journey it faces to go to clinic.
“This product is different from past investments for us,” said The Launch Place President and CEO, Eva Doss, adding that both the amount of funding that BioAesthetics has been able to close and the social impact potential of the NACgraft is impressive. “We see the possibility and potential for this company and we have hope for its long-term impacts on breast cancer survivors.”
The investment from Seed Fund II will help BioAesthetics solidify its manufacturing process in preparation for the clinical launch of the NACgraftTM. Pashos said that in addition to being a critical investor in their Series A seed round, The Launch Place has helped connect the company with resources and industry experts in the Danville area.
About The Launch Place:
The Launch Place provides new and early-stage business support services and pre-seed and seed investments for technology startups in Virginia and North Carolina. As a venture development organization with the purpose to plan, fund, launch and grow businesses, TLP helps companies to get started or to expand their operations by providing business consulting services, office space, and by investing in them through its investment funds. www.thelaunchplace.org
BioAesthetics is a biotechnology company focused on transforming lives through advancements in biomaterials. It’s product, the Nipple Areolar Complex (NAC) Graft, encourages a patient’s cells to integrate into their body, becoming a living structure. https://bio-aesthetics.com