Bridging the bone gap.
Spinal fusion surgeries are performed to treat a variety of diseases such as hernia and lower back pains, and are performed 1 million times worldwide each year. A severe limitation of this operation is that bone has to be isolated from another body part from a patient, usually the pelvis bone, and transplanted to grow the spine segments together. This leads to complications in the donor bone area in the majority of patients. More importantly, in a quarter of the patients the spinal fusion surgery fails, often because there is not enough harvestable bone to transplant. The current bone transplant substitutes are either ineffective in inducing new bone formation, or dangerous because they rely on a high amount of growth factor proteins.
To solve this problem, we have developed a synthetic bone carrier that stimulates bone formation. What makes our patented technology unique, is that it uses bacteria-derived derived antigens to activate the immune system which then triggers natural bone growth. As a result, no growth factor proteins are needed. We have shown in different rabbit studies that the coating of degradable devices with bacterial antigens can vastly enhance their efficacy.
Before we enter our GMP product development phase, we will perform comparative studies to screen for the most effective bacterial antigen and compare its efficacy directly to the gold standard bone transplant in spinal fusion. Our exit strategy is to offer our technology to a medical device company after we have completed a first-in-man feasibility study. To reach this point, we need a total investment of around €3M to cover the different stages divided into the pre-clinical studies (€1M), product development (€1M) and clinical feasibility study (€1M).
If our technology is successful for spinal fusion, it can potentially eliminate the need for bone transplants in another million non-spine related surgeries annually. Our current team is composed of a professor specialised in spinal fusion surgery, researchers working on the technology, and a serial entrepreneur.
The Osteomore team consists of Adnan Öner (left) and Michiel Croes.
- Venture Challenge Spring 2017
- Michiel Croes | email@example.com
- Adnan Öner | firstname.lastname@example.org