37. Humacyte

A bioengineered blood vessel

Founders: Dr. Laura Niklason, Juliana Blum, Shannon Dahl
Launched: 2004
Funding: $212.8 million
Valuation: $297 million
Disrupting: Regenerative medicine
Rival: N/A

Humacyte is a medical research and regenerative medicine company that claims to have created the world's first bioengineered blood vessel. The product is called Humacyl, and if approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it could potentially eliminate the surgeries needed to resection a patient's existing blood vessels in procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgeries. The Humacyl bioengineered blood vessel can be used instead.


The company, based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, was started in 2004 by Dr. Laura Nikalson, a Yale professor and one of the world's leading experts in cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.

"If the human body knows how to grow and repair arteries, why can’t we do the same things in the laboratory?" -Dr. Laura Niklason, founder

In mid-May the company took one step closer to FDA approval for Humacyl. It began a phase 3 study of the therapy in patients with end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure. The FDA will look at whether these candidates can safely undergo hemodialysis using Humacyte's bioengineered blood vessels. While the company awaits FDA approval, it is already looking ahead to other applications for Humacyl, including using it to connect blood vessels and other conduits for the regeneration of human organs.

Investors thus far have poured close to $200 million in Humacyte, mainly from family offices rather than venture capital firms. Family offices are management firms that advise wealthy individuals or families. Of this, Humacyte raised $63 million from former Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan.

Laura Niklason, founder of Humacyte
Source: Humacyte
Laura Niklason, founder of Humacyte

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