Synthetic Bone Graft company spun out from Aberdeen secures £3.1m funding

A spin out company from the University of Aberdeen that is developing innovative bone graft materials has secured £3.1 million in financing from a syndicate of investors.

SIRAKOSS is an innovative medical device company based in Edinburgh and Aberdeen which has developed synthetic bone grafts which can be used in trauma, spinal and dental surgery to fuse bones together to correct congenital or degenerative conditions (such as curvature of the spine) or following a traumatic injury where the bone fails to heal.

The SIRAKOSS MaxSiTM Graft range of products is entirely synthetic, containing no animal or human tissue and can be manufactured in consistent, high quality batches. Screening studies with the MaxSiTM Graft products from SIRAKOSS demonstrate rapid, controlled bone formation at very early time points, indicative of early patient recovery. Surgeons’ feedback on performance data and handling properties of the SIRAKOSS material, when compared to existing products, has been very encouraging.

The company has now secured $4.8m (£3.1m) in Series-A financing from a syndicate of investors led by Epidarex Capital which will enable it to complete product development and to implement its regulatory strategy for both the European and US markets.

Other syndicate members include the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and the London-based Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers plus existing shareholders. This equity investment also secures a further £940,000 Biomedical Catalyst award from Innovate UK (formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board), which was previously awarded to SIRAKOSS in a competitive funding programme and was subject to matching investment.

Brian Butchart, CEO of SIRAKOSS said: “We are delighted to have closed this investment with Epidarex Capital as this validates the company’s belief in its outstanding and highly differentiated synthetic bone graft technology and the clearly defined commercial opportunity that this represents within a $2.5bn global market. This investment will enable SIRAKOSS to complete product development and to implement its regulatory strategy for both the European and US markets”.

Sinclair Dunlop, Managing Partner at Epidarex Capital stated: “Epidarex is delighted to be leading the current financing of SIRAKOSS. The company’s core technology offers several novel and potentially disruptive applications in the global synthetic bone graft market. We are very excited about the company’s prospects”.

Professor Bill Bonfield, chairman of the Armourers & Brasiers Venture Prize panel said, “We were hugely impressed with the SIRAKOSS technology which can offer surgeons a materials science alternative to pharmacological products for obtaining rapid bone repair and fusion. The company has also recognised the importance of melding both scientific and commercial skills sets. The SIRAKOSS technology has the potential to benefit thousands of people each year and it also fits well with our aim to encourage innovative scientific entrepreneurship in the UK.”

Eleanor Mitchell, Director of Commercialisation, Scottish Enterprise, said “Congratulations to SIRAKOSS for securing this investment deal, allowing it to further realise its ambitious scaling plans both in Europe and the USA. Scottish Enterprise has assisted throughout the journey with an integrated package of support, including early proof of concept activities at the University of Aberdeen, and later the company with SMART: SCOTLAND grant support for feasibility testing, assistance in scaling up in global markets and most recently, investment via the Scottish Investment Bank. Scottish Enterprise works closely with Epidarex and views this fund as a key asset to Scotland’s life sciences companies therefore we are delighted that they will be supporting the growth of SIRAKOSS.” 

Professor Phil Hannaford, Vice-Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Aberdeen said:  “The University is delighted that SIRAKOSS had got this funding as the next stage of its development. This spin-out company is a brilliant example of how knowledge originating from a world-class university is boosting the Scottish economy."

Professor Iain Gibson, who led the development of the technology at the University of Aberdeen and is a co-founder of SIRAKOSS, commented: “This investment is a major step in translating the technology that we developed at Aberdeen from fundamental lab-based science through to commercial development. From the beginning of the research work on the SIRAKOSS technology in 2007, we have focussed on a route that would allow transfer of the technology to clinical application. This financing will enable SIRAKOSS to commercialise the technology and hopefully make a significant impact in healthcare”.



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