FMC takes stake in Humacyte in bet on bioengineered blood vessel

FILE PHOTO - Fresenius Medical Care's CEO Rice Powell is pictured in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt, Germany, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) FMEG.DE has agreed to take a $150 million stake in U.S. tissue engineering firm Humacyte Inc. and will become the exclusive distributor of the company's bioengineered blood vessels once they win approval.

The world’s largest provider of kidney dialysis, FMC is banking on the alliance to lead to better ways of accessing patients’ blood vessels, a delicate medical procedure that is part of providing life-saving dialysis, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The so-called vascular access is prone to infections which often require costly in-patient hospital treatments.

FMC will take a 19 percent stake in the privately held company.

Humacyte’s bioengineered blood vessels are currently being tested in the last of three phases that are typically required for market approval in the United States and Europe.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Jason Neely