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Octet Advances Solution for Surgery Infections

MEDICAL DEVICES: $10M Series B for Developing Electrostatic Sprayer

Octet Medical has boosted its runway to further develop its novel Octet Medical Electrostatic Applicator (OMEA).

The San Diego-based medical device firm announced this month the closing of a $10 million Series B round, led by returning investors RJ Valentine Ventures/The MBA Group, medical device entrepreneur Cliff Wright and joined by other local private investors. The latest round follows a $6.8 million Series A in April 2022.

Cliff Wright
Founder & Board Chair
Octet Medical

“I am thrilled to welcome the Series B investors who have invested in Octet,” said Wright, Octet Medical’s founder and chairman of the board. “This funding, along with the talent assembled at Octet, will accelerate our path to market and bring the application of topical therapeutics into the 21st Century.”

From Industrial to Medical

Octet’s OMEA electrostatic sprayer for topical therapeutics is based on an industrial sprayer developed by Wright at the company he founded, Victory Innovations. That sprayer became the world leader in electrostatic disinfectants.

Bud Brainerd
CEO
Octet Medical

“They were doing very well and then COVID hit and then they did very, very well,” said Octet CEO Bud Brainerd, adding that Victory Innovations was eventually acquired by The Carlyle Group in 2020.

But even before Carlyle bought up Victory, Wright, whose background was initially in medical devices, was looking at ways to use electrostatic sprayers in the medical field.

“The magic of an electrostatic spray, especially in the medical field, is that it applies a negative charge to the droplets,” Brainerd said. “Human skin has the opposite charge and so what happens is the opposite charges attract, which increases adhesion and the droplets that contact the skin do not layer – they’re always looking to find that neutral. So you get a very uniform spray and complete coverage.”

In medicine and in hospital settings, uniform and complete coverage of the skin has a variety of advantages in the application of liquids such as antiseptics.

“The whole impetus behind this is really trying to reduce the number of surgical side infections (SSIs),” Brainerd said. “It’s a problem. About 2 to 5% of all surgeries result in a surgical side infection – that comes to about 160,000 a year. Of those 160,000 there are over 8,000 deaths due to SSIs.”

Brainerd cited research that, pre-COVID, about 11% of the deaths that occur in an ICU were associated with an SSI. SSIs also close to triple the number of days of hospitalization in the U.S. and are the most frequent cause of readmission after surgery.

“In the U.S., this results in about 400,000 extra patient days and a cost of about $10 billion a year,” he added.

Versatile Device

Octet’s primary focus for OMEA is in the application of antiseptics to prep skin for surgery. The device includes a charging base that holds the handheld applicator; and is cordless, lightweight, and will accommodate a wide range of cartridges, each one containing a separate material, Brainerd said.

The first cartridge type the company is working on is the antiseptic cartridge that will be able to apply commonly-used medical antiseptics such as CHG and betadine, as well as the anesthetic Lidocaine. Octet is currently focused on getting FDA approval for OMEA’s CHG application, “which will take some time, but we don’t see any huge hurdles – it will just take time and money,” Brainerd said, adding that the company anticipates starting clinical trials in the middle of next year.

In addition to a cartridge for antiseptics and anesthetics, the OMEA sprayer will also have a cartridge for the application of biologics such as stem cells and exosomes used to accelerate healing, and especially used in burn care.

A third cartridge will take a polymer solution that OMEA will “electro-spin” into wounds and stay on the wound until the material biodegrades.

“The OMEA electrostatic sprayer with interchangeable single use disposable product cartridges will reshape how clinicians apply topical therapeutics,” Brainerd said. “The series B round will enable our team to advance the production of the existing OMEA prototypes into units that can be used in clinical trial programs.”

Octet Medical

Founded: 2018
CEO: Bud Brainerd
Headquarters: San Diego
Business: Medical device company
Funding: $16.8 million
Employees: 12
Website: www.octetmedical.com
Notable: Octet founder Cliff Wright developed an industrial electrostatic sprayer for his company Victory Innovations, which was acquired by The Carlyle Group in 2020.

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