Novel synthetic bone graft in running for national innovation award

Novel synthetic bone graft in running for national innovation award

A new and exciting synthetic bone graft to repair bone defects and trauma could take a valuable step nearer to being used in orthopaedic operating theatres, as an innovative Aberdeen company waits to hear if it has won a major UK award for innovation.

SIRAKOSS Limited, a company spun out of the University of Aberdeen in May of this year, is one of only five companies shortlisted for the UK’s Genesis 2011 Med-Tech Innovation Awards, and will find out on December 1 if it has scooped the national prize at an Awards Dinner in London.

The SIRAKOSS entry is the development of a new Synthetic Bone Graft Substitute product called MaxSiTM.

Bone grafts are used to repair or fuse bone defects or trauma. Synthetic bone graft substitutes are increasingly used to replace the need to harvest the patient’s own bone from a healthy site - with the resultant issues of secondary site pain and extended operating time - or the use of cadaver bone with its variable performance and potential for disease transmission.

The team of biomedical chemists, physicists and materials scientists led by Professor Iain Gibson and including Dr Jan Skakle, Jordan Conway, Dr Basil Annaz and Professor Richard Aspden, secured Proof of Concept funding from Scottish Enterprise in 2007.  Having secured a further SMART award from Scottish Enterprise to produce novel formulations of their technology, the fledgling company is now keen to attract VC investment to take the product through regulatory approval and clinical trials and onto the global market.

MaxSiTM incorporates a unique chemical composition and physical properties.  In specific combination, these have been shown to deliver clear benefits in bone fusion, correlating to early recovery for the patient, and cost benefits for healthcare funders.

SIRAKOSS is competing in the Med Tech category to win a package of support worth an estimated £25,000, provided by sponsors Schwartz Communications, Strategem Intellectual Property Management, Cambridge Healthcare & Biotech, PHASTAR, Global Regulatory Services, and EDB Group. The winner will have access to the full package of advice and support on intellectual property and patenting, being attractive to investors, communications and PR, business development tactics, statistics and audits, and negotiating the route to market.

The company’s initial focus will be on the $3bn global spine fusion market, with other applications also apparent in trauma, maxillofacial and dental surgery.  

Professor Iain Gibson said: “For such a new company, we are delighted to have reached this stage in this national competition. The University of Aberdeen has been very supportive throughout the development of this technology, enabling us to reach a stage where we have the opportunity to translate academic research through to clinical use. This would mean that a product that we are very excited about may one day be able to make a real difference in the quality of care available to patients.”