At our second meetup in Basel last week, Philip had the chance to talk to Maria Pereira, one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 and the scientific inventor of the technology behind Gecko Biomedical. Apart from telling us about Gecko’s progress and future plans, Maria talked about her time in Boston and why she ended up starting Gecko in Europe.
The French medtech Gecko is developing a light-activated surgical glue that can seal tissues and could eventually replace stitching altogether. Maria co-developed the technology in Bob Langer‘s group at MIT back in Boston, but the company is now located in Paris and is backed by big-name investors such as Sofinnova.
The company was founded in 2013 and has already moved to the clinic in Europe. As Maria told us, “We have reached the clinic last year with our first product within the vascular space. Of course in parallel, we have started discussing with the FDA and we are preparing to also start our clinical trial in the US in the coming months.”
Gecko has so far raked in a total of €30M in series A funding rounds, an impressive number for a medtech company. Maria didn’t only comment on how the company managed to convince investors of its technology, but also shared some views on the company’s future plans.
“One of our goals is to expand the pipeline beyond our first product,” she said. “We see that surgical procedures are very diverse and we have identified several opportunities where we think there will be interest to use our materials and we are very excited about that.”
Philip also managed to get some insights into Maria’s experience in Boston and what it’s like to work with one of the top scientists in the world. “If I had to attribute the root cause of my success so far, it’s definitely to the mentors that I had the opportunity to work with,” she told us.
Finally, Maria also commented on the decision to found Gecko in Europe and what sets the company apart from its competitors. “Because our material is light-activated it can be delivered to the tissue (…) and once it’s at the right location the clinician can just shine light and activate the adhesion.”
Make sure to take a look at the full interview to hear more about Gecko’s technology!