Fremont, California’s PrinterPrezz has just secured $16 million in a Series A financing round, with which it plans to expand its efforts to 3D print medical devices and implants. A key backer of the financing round, Solvay, will also be partnering with the startup to aid in the increased adoption of these medical products.
PrinterPrezz has developed what it refers to as a “foundry ecosystem” dedicated to creating medical devices from concept through to volume production. This ecosystem is based on proprietary processes that bring together expertise in 3D printing, orthaepedics, semiconductors and nanotechnology to bring medical devices to market more quickly.
Most recently, this has led to the has 510(k) clearance from the FDA for the company’s GAIA Lumbar Interbody Fusion Device family of 3D printed spinal implants made from Ti6Al4V-ELI titanium using laser powder bed fusion technology.
The Series A round was co-led by several investors, including Boutique Venture Partners, Berkeley Catalyst Fund, and D. One Vision Management, which was the largest backer. With the funds, the startup will be able to expand its engineering teams and increase its development of specialty materials and technologies for its medical device development.
“We believe that the future of medical device development is in the joining of novel materials with proprietary technology,” said CEO of PrinterPrezz Shri Shetty, who we interviewed in January 2020. “PrinterPrezz continues to build partnerships to develop these processes. This investment validates our model and secures our opportunity to explore nanotechnology and other applications for truly life changing innovations. I am grateful to our investors, employees and customers for their support and commitment.”
Solvay Ventures also served as a strategic investor in the round and will be collaborating with PrinterPrezz, lending its 30 years of experience in polymers for the healthcare sector. Matt Jones, Managing Director of Solvay Ventures, said of their relationship with PrinterPrezz:
“Expanding healthcare solutions leveraging our high-performance polymers is a key part of Solvay’s growth strategy,” said. “The cross functional team at PrinterPrezz has proven their ability to shorten the development cycle for 3D printed devices.”
One of PrinterPrezz’s key differentiators is its ecosystem approach to 3D printed medical devices. As we’ve covered 3D printed medical devices, we’ve covered numerous advantages to the technology for this application: the ability to create patient-specific products using 3D scan data; performance-optimized designs only possible with 3D printing; improved implant integration due to osteogenenrative features and more. For this reason, SmarTech Analysis has projected that revenues for the medical 3D printing segment will reach $6.08 billion by the year 2027. None of these matter however if these products can’t get off the ground.
3D printing medical devices requires a combination of expertise not unlike that found in the aerospace industry, which initiated much of the growth we’ve already seen in 3D printing as a whole. In addition to understanding specialty materials and the accompanying additive manufacturing processes, the health implications of the devices require their own expertise. Coupling this with the various regulations imposed on medical manufacturing results in a web of specialization that only an ecosystem approach can really handle.
For this reason, we see Materialise as a leader in this respect, as it has solutions across the board for every aspect of 3D printing medical devices. Then, experts in medical devices, like Stryker, or in 3D printing, like 3D Systems, are building up their own portfolios in a manner that is sort of the inverse of PrinterPrezz, starting as manufacturers and then adding the necessary pieces to complete their own ecosystems.
So far, PrinterPrezz has already shown exciting growth, having expanded its facility in California from 5,000 to 15,000 in its first year alone. Now that it has this additional funding, we may expect to see it moving quickly in the medical 3D printing sector.
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