Orthox CEO presents at BioTrinity, the UK’s largest life science investment conference
Oxford, UK – 29th October 2013 – Orthox Limited, the medical implant company developing strong, resilient, tissue regenerative silk implants, today announced awards worth £2.95 million from the Wellcome Trust and the government backed Technology Strategy Board, to fund clinical trials of its two lead products.
Orthox is developing products which target repair and tissue regeneration of injuries to the Meniscal and Articular Cartilage in the knee. Each year over two million patients suffer serious knee injuries which require damaged cartilage tissue to be surgically removed. Orthox’s platform technology, FibroFix™, is a remarkable silk-based biomaterial which combines the smooth, resilient, high strength found in cartilage with the capacity to support regeneration of new tissue when implanted.
A Translation Award of £1.22 million from the Wellcome Trust will support first in man clinical trials of Orthox’s two lead products: FibroFix™ Meniscus which repairs defects in the shock absorbing meniscus in the knee, and FibroFix™ Cartilage, which aims to resurface lesions in the articular cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in the knee joint.
A Biomedical Catalyst Fund award of £1.73 million from the UK’s Innovation Agency, The Technology Strategy Board, will support manufacturing upscale and a market approval clinical trial of FibroFix™ Cartilage.
These awards secure The Company’s funding position and will build on the preclinical product development achieved on Orthox’s previous £1.6 million Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust and three earlier awards from the Technology Strategy Board’s Regenerative Medicine programme.
Commenting on the announcement, Nick Skaer, CEO of Orthox said:
“Securing these significant financial awards from the UK’s two leading Biomedical funding programmes demonstrates the progress made by the Company in preclinical trials of our unique FibroFix™ product platform. This will enable us to implement the FibroFix™ clinical programme with our partners at the Avon Orthopaedic Centre in Bristol, allowing us to deliver the benefits of our products to patients suffering the debilitating effects of serious knee cartilage injuries.”
Commenting on the Wellcome Trust Award, Richard Seabrook, Head of Business Development at the Wellcome Trust said:
“We urgently need a solution for knee injuries that is resistant to wearing and fixes the problem whilst helping the body to repair itself, to help people stay active for as long as possible. This is a complex clinical problem but we are encouraged with the progress that Orthox has made with their FibroFix™ technology and look forward to seeing how the products perform in clinical trials.”
Commenting on the Biomedical Catalyst Fund Award, Dr Helen Kuhlman Lead Technologist, Medicines and Healthcare at the Technology Strategy Board said:
“The Orthox project is a good example of both the innovative technology and the commercial potential the Biomedical Catalyst seeks to support. The government’s recent decision to continue to support the Biomedical Catalyst Fund acts as confirmation that it is meeting its objectives of supporting innovative solutions for healthcare problems on their journey to commercialisation and has now ensured a further round of funding, now under way.”
Commenting on the FibroFix™ Clinical Trials Programme, Prof Ashley Blom, Head of Orthopaedic Research at Bristol University and Study Principal Investigator said:
“Orthox’s FibroFix™ technology has exciting attributes from a clinical perspective which may allow more effective treatment of common knee cartilage injuries. Preclinical performance of the implant is impressive and we look forward to initiating clinical trials of FibroFix™ at Southmead Hospital next year.