Galen Backs Tactile Systems

Tactile Systems Technology, a Minneapolis-based maker of products to treat vascular diseases like lymphedema, has raised $11.8 million n new VC funding led by Galen Partners.



Tactile Systems Technology, which develops, manufactures and markets products to treat vascular disorders such as lymphedema, today announced the culmination of a funding effort resulting in $11.8 million raised. The round is led by Galen Partners, a Stamford, Conn.,-based investment firm focused solely on health care. Funding also includes existing Tactile Systems Technology shareholders and other private investors.


“We are always looking for companies with proprietary products and services that show exceptional promise,” said Zubeen Shroff, Managing Director, Galen Partners. “Companies that fit our profile have demonstrated the value of their products, often through repeat customer sales. They also have short-term prospects for positive cash flow. Tactile Systems Technology fit all of our criteria.”

Since its inception in 1995, Tactile Systems Technology has improved the quality of life for individuals affected by lymphedema and venous insufficiencies. Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid in body tissues, typically in the dermis of the arms or legs due to blockage or inadequacy of lymph circulation. It is often the unintended consequence of cancer treatment. Approximately 25 percent of breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema within two years of treatment.


The company's Flexitouch system consists of a programmable controller that attaches to segmented garments covering the limb, trunk and chest. Therapy is delivered through chambers in the garments that inflate and deflate sequentially, simulating manual lymphatic drainage. This at-home therapy usually follows manual lymphatic therapy provided by therapists in clinical settings. The company received U.S. Food and Drug Administration marketing clearance for the Flexitouch system in 2002 and recently for the treatment of wounds.


Tactile Systems Technology revenue was less than $200,000 in 2003 and has more than doubled each year since. “We are poised for some dramatic expansion at Tactile Systems,” said Gerald R. Mattys, Chief Executive Officer. “This funding will enable us to accelerate our growth in the market and provide important therapy to the increasing number of patients with lymphedema. We intend to increase the size of our direct sales force, fund larger clinical trials proving product efficacy and expand into new clinical indications, such as the treatment of chronic wounds. I'm particularly proud that we were able to attract such a well known health care investor to the region.”


Since Galen Partners ( was founded in 1990, it has built an investment portfolio with an aggregate market value greater than $10 billion. Galen focuses on equity investments in health care information technology and outsourcing, medical devices and specialty pharmaceutical companies. It has invested in more than 60 companies since 1990 and seeks strategic collaboration and partnership with its portfolio company management teams.


In 2007, Tactile Systems Technology was named “Corporation of the Year” by the Lymphatic Research Foundation. Mattys joined the company in 2005 as chief executive officer, bringing 25 years of medical industry experience to the position.

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