Touch Bionics acquires Livingskin

18 May 2008

Scottish company Touch Bionics, developer of the i-Limb bionic hand, has acquired Livingskin the developer of the lifelike prosthetic skin that Touch Bionics supplies with its ground-breaking product.

Livingskin’s products resemble human skin by simulating the three dermal layers of natural human skin. The company already supplies many of the world’s leading clinics with its high-definition custom cosmesis covering and silicone restoration products, and will continue to do so.

The acquisition will allow Touch Bionics to fulfil growing customer demand, while applying its commercial and technical expertise into new cosmesis solutions for multi-articulating hands and digits.

In addition, the acquisition provides Touch Bionics with an established physical presence in North America from which to build on the rapid growth that it has already experienced in the region. In the US alone, over 180 patients have already been fitted with the i-Limb Hand. Touch Bionics’ US facility will house, production, technical support, inventory and administration to directly support its growing North American customer base.

Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates, the clinical company previously associated with Livingskin, is not included in the acquisition and continues to operate independently of the newly combined business.

"This acquisition is hugely significant for Touch Bionics as we are acquiring further technical and competitive advantage in the prosthetics market," said Stuart Mead, Touch Bionics CEO. "Livingskin provides the world’s most advanced cosmesis for upper limb prosthetics and the i-Limb Hand is the world’s most advanced upper limb device. It’s a perfect match. The acquisition of Livingskin provides us with the people, skills and facilities to secure and grow our US operations and global cosmesis supply."

"We have been working in close partnership with Touch Bionics for some time now, and the acquisition is a natural progression of that partnership," said Tom Passero, Livingskin president. "As part of Touch Bionics, our future is both secure and exciting. We are committed to maintaining the same level of top-quality service to our customers and partners across the world while working with the Touch Bionics team to innovate cosmesis options for users."

To finance the deal and provide further US expansion funding, Touch Bionics raised additional capital through existing investors, Archangel Informal Investment, TriCap and Scottish Enterprise’s Co-investment fund.

Touch Bionics has seen a 10-fold increase in staff over the last year and has now hired Mark Ford, formerly a director of Omega Tracer, a division of Ohio Willow Wood, to run Touch Bionics’ US sales and marketing operations.

"Mark is a great addition to our senior management team and his US market experience will help us greatly in securing wider relationships with the North American O&P community," said Stuart Mead. "Our growth has been phenomenal and Mark’s expertise will prove invaluable as our company matures and expands."

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