Driven by the slogan “we print bone,” startup Ossiform is on the way to FDA clearance for its patient-specific bone scaffold and bone printing technology. Now, it has more cash, in the form of $6.7 million raised through West Hill Capital, to expand its efforts. The funds will be used towards entering the US market and manufacturing.
About the deal, Ossiform CEO Thea Wulff Olesen said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with West Hill raising the capital needed to expand our activities and prepare our P3D Bone for the US$3.8 billion bone implant market, and despite the current crises we succeeded.”
Robert Caie, of West Hill Capital, stated, “West Hill is once again delighted to be supporting Ossiform in the next stage of the Company’s development. This fascinating technology has the potential to transform how millions of patients receive implants every year by eliminating complications, reducing the cost of treatment and dramatically improving functional and aesthetic outcomes.”
Ossiform Disrupts the Implant 3D Printing Market
Ossiform is potentially very disruptive. The additive manufacturing (AM) sector features a number of startups dedicated to implants 3D printed from titanium and other metals. These devices can mimic the modulus of bone and achieve better osseointegration than conventional implants. Of course, for a great deal of cases, there will be nothing better than bone itself.
There are a number of researchers working with hydroxyapatite and different calcium materials to print bone. However, these often lack the strength and performance required to really replace bone. Ossiform combines beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) with fatty acids into a 3D-printable paste. The fatty acids are burnt off during sintering, leaving with a patient-specific, pure and porous beta-tricalcium phosphate bone. Additionally, the company produces cell culture plates and aids clients in 3D printings ceramics and scaffolds.
The technology is ingenious and it seems like it has a very valuable IP stack attached to it, as well, including patents on the feedstock. Ossiform is Danish which in part may be why the potentially revolutionary company has been so understated so far. Its technology could be used in a wide range of bone replacement applications. With potentially better osteoconductive and osteoinductive properties, the bone could replace a number of different materials and processes.
There are other advantages, as well: Any errors and detritus would be less problematic than with metals or polymers. A bit of calcium lost in the body would be much less dangerous than a meandering bit of cobalt chrome or polypropylene. The bone can even be 3D printed alongside or integrated with existing bone. Additionally, CT- and MRI-based implants are exactly sized and mechanically strong. Moreover, the company is looking into how bone implants can be designed to release medications that aid recovery.
The regulatory approval process will be long and hard, of course. However, early signs from research studies are encouraging. Albeit, most are written by individuals associated with the company, of course.
It seems like Ossiform may be headed for a bright future in printing bone, one which we learned a bit about at our Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) event in the past and which we will learn even more about at AMS in February 2023.
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