MedTech Bites August 2019 – edited by Jeanette Donnelly
This month we highlight some of New Zealand’s activities in orthopedic implants. This is a global medical device sector of US$46 Billion in 2017 which is expected to grow to US$66 Billion by 2025 with CAGR of 4.7% from 2018 to 2025 (Orthopedic Implants Market Outlook -2025, https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/orthopedic-implants-market).
New Zealand has world leading capability in orthopedic implants with significant expertise in Christchurch and Auckland. Enztec, a multi-million dollar global medical device company in Christchurch, anchors the industry in New Zealand. It is internationally recognized for its expertise in designing and manufacturing surgical instruments for the world’s best orthopedic companies, with products covering hip, knee, spine and extremities.
The implant space is shifting to personalized technology using 3D printing and New Zealand is growing its own pocket of excellence. This is an area where technology from the CMDT partnership and the MedTech Center of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE) have been successfully translated into clinical applications and commercialisation. Ossability and Formus Labs are two emerging companies from this community in the implant space, spanning veterinary to human applications. Both Ossability and Formus Labs were winners of the NZ Healthtech Award for Best Translational Project in 2016 and 2017. The Award, initiated by the CMDT, provided a prize package to support the companies accelerate their growth, and helped raise their profile in the community.
Ossability spun out of the University of Canterbury in 2013, co-founded by bioengineer and a veterinarian orthopedic surgeon. Since then, it has moved from strength to strength focused on implant technologies for our canine friends. Formus Labs formed in 2016, is one of the earliest companies originating from the MedTech CoRE. It is underpinned by the deep research base from the Auckland Bioengineering’s Musculo-skeletal System Research Group. Focused on human implants, it provides cloud-based solutions for custom orthopedic design through an interactive process between clinicians and engineers.
Aside from these, there is Ossis, a world leader in 3D printed patient-specific orthopedic implants. It recently partnered with Corin Orthopedics for the distribution of its pelvic and sarcoma implants into international markets. Zenith Technica with its innovative intitanium additive manufacturing technology, can produce trabecular and structured types of porous regions on implant components that support bone integration. With its ISO13485 certification, it supplies components for veterinarian and human orthopedic applications.
In this issue, we also interview orthopedic registrar, Dr Scott Bolan. He is undertaking his PhD in bone and tendon regenerative medicine with Prof. Jill Cornish, University of Auckland who co-leads the MedTech CoRE’s Regenerative Medicine Research Theme. A key feature across the MedTech CoRE projects is the combination of clinical knowledge with cutting edge science to create new technologies to benefit patients.
We also cover a piece on commercialisation of university research. In essence, market potential is a key criteria to ensure that the research completed and the technologies developed are not left on the shelf. The economic growth that can follow successful commercialisation of new technologies also contributes to health and wellbeing outcomes.
IN THE NZ MEDTECH WORLD…
By combining theory with practical skills, Dr Scott Bolam is trying to solve new problems that are arising in the orthopaedic world.