DSM invests in advanced materials company Micromuscle
Heerlen, NL, 20-Nov-2006, DSM Venturing, the corporate venturing unit of Royal DSM N.V., today announced that it has taken a share of 10% in the advanced materials company Micromuscle. Micromuscle has developed electro-active polymers (EAPs) for use in medical devices and life science product applications. This investment will give DSM a perfect window on the potential of EAP technology for medical applications.
Electro-active polymers are an emerging class of advanced materials with new revolutionary properties. A primary advantage of EAPs is the possibility to electrically control their behavior and properties. This enables the construction of small, moving and force-exerting components called actuators or micromuscles. The EAP technology can be used in medical devices and enables new applications by performing a range of functions, such as control of the movement and properties of medical devices, the anchoring of devices, and controlled drug release. Currently, Micromuscle is focusing on vascular applications.
DSM and Micromuscle will explore opportunities for joint development products, especially in the area of drug delivery and cardiovascular systems. These are fields DSM is currently focusing on in its Emerging Business Area of Biomedical Materials (DSM Biomedical), which is one of the focus areas to secure longer-term growth as defined in DSM’s corporate strategy program Vision 2010 – Building on Strengths.
In close cooperation with external parties, DSM Biomedical is active in extensive R&D that is expected to generate the innovations of the future, such as polymer implants, medical coatings, and polymeric systems for the controlled release of medicines in the body. DSM Biomedical draws upon DSM’s expertise in the fields of polymers, coatings and material sciences combined with its strong position in life sciences. Steve Hartig, Vice President DSM Biomedical: “We look forward to working together with Micromuscle. They have succeeded in carving out an interesting position in electro-active polymers for biomedical materials. Their expertise in combination with our broad competences in polymers and growing expertise in medical therapies should lead to valuable new applications. This cooperation illustrates once more how we put open innovation into practice at DSM.”
DSM Venturing is an active investor in start-up companies and Venture Capital Funds in DSM’s strategic growth fields of Nutrition, Pharma and Performance Materials. DSM Venturing’s mission is to explore emerging markets and technologies in these strategic growth fields in order to enhance DSM’s product portfolio and create value. DSM Venturing also plays an active role in the development of several new DSM business opportunities in the so-called Emerging Business Areas of Biomedical Materials, Industrial (White) Biotechnology, Specialty Packaging and Personalized Nutrition. For more information about DSM Venturing see www.dsm venturing.com.
Micromuscle AB (Linköping, Sweden) was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from leading research on conducting polymers at Linköping University. Micromuscle develops electro-active polymer technology for use in medical and life science applications. The Company holds a strong IPR portfolio including patents and patent applications. Micromuscle focuses on vascular applications where EAP has considerable potential and enables new functionality for medical devices. For more information see www.micromuscle.com
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