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SafeGuard Surgical wins FDA breakthrough nod for biodegradable stent backed by NFL QB

SafeGuard Surgical announced today that the FDA granted breakthrough device designation to its LeakGuard biodegradable stent.

Along with the regulatory milestone, the company announced that it completed its Series A funding round. Tom Pepin, principal at Tapper Ventures, led the financing. NFL quarterback Jameis Winston is also one of the first investors in the company. His investment marks a commitment to the stent as it could help communities of color disproportionately affected by colon cancer, SafeGuard said in a news release.

Dr. Scott Kelley developed the LeakGuard device belonging to Tampa, Florida-based SafeGuard. He said Pepin brings an “impressive track record” and dedication to initiatives that align with SafeGuard’s values.

“Tom’s leadership and resources will be instrumental in bringing this lifesaving technology rapidly to market,” Kelley said.

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