BioAesthetics, a company transforming plastic and reconstructive surgeries through regenerative medicine, closed a financing round led by Silicon Valley-based Hemi Ventures. Investors included San Francisco’s IndieBio, the New Orleans BioFund, and the New Orleans Startup Fund.

“We’re tremendously excited to join the BioAesthetics team on their journey to innovate patient care through regenerative medicine,” said Amy Gu, Managing Director of Hemi Ventures. “Their advancements are writing the next chapter for living tissue grafts and will improve choices for patients and their medical providers.”

This funding accelerates the development of BioAesthetics’ first product – an acellular tissue-engineered graft that regenerates the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) for breast cancer/mastectomy patients who are currently limited to prostheses, tattoos, and surgical reconstructions out of skin. Just like breast reconstruction, NAC reconstruction provides significant physical and psychological benefits for many patients. “Nipple reconstructions are an important part of completing the reconstruction of the breast, but current methods for reconstruction lack in aesthetics and longevity and are unsatisfactory,” said Abigail Chaffin, MD, a reconstructive surgeon at Tulane University. “The NAC graft BioAesthetics offers will be a game-changer in nipple reconstruction.”

Nicholas Pashos, PhD, founder and CEO of BioAesthetics, developed a graft that regenerates a permanent, living NAC during his doctoral work at Tulane University. Test grafts show promising results. Within one week, living cells migrate from the host tissue into and throughout the graft. Within three weeks, blood vessels begin to form within the graft and new skin forms over the graft. These results indicate integration and acceptance of the acellular graft by the host without immunocompromising antibiotics or steroids as is the case with standard organ transplants and tissue grafts. “We’re working hard with reconstructive surgeons to develop innovative treatment options that improve the aesthetic and overall health outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Pashos.