Article Source: FutureWorlds

Trauma, disease and advancing years can all result in bone deterioration. There is a bone fracture every three seconds around the globe, ranging from aging family members living with joint disease to younger sports-playing relatives. Fracture treatments cost the NHS more than £2bn per year in the UK, with 10% of all bone fractures failing to heal properly.

Regenerative medicine – the use of new stem cell and material technologies – holds the promise of repairing injured and diseased tissues to treat patients and transform lives.

Scientists from the University of Southampton have drawn upon 50 years of combined expertise to form Renovos, an innovative spinout developing a proprietary drug delivery technology based on nanoclays, which has the potential to revolutionise bone healing.

renovos experiment

The venture was founded by Professor Richard Oreffo, leader of the Bone and Joint Research Group and Director of the University’s Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Dr Jon Dawson, a Research Fellow and technology expert in biomaterials and nanoclays, James Otter, working with governance and commercialisation experience, and Dr Agnieszka Janeczek, a regenerative medicine and business development expert.

“The key concept behind this technology is that clays bind biological molecules,” Jon explains. “Over the last 12 years we have learned to use this ability to create nanoclay gels able to stimulate stem cells to grow new tissue.

“Our nanoclay gels allow us to combine powerful biological agents in a one-step, chemical-free procedure. They can be injected to the site of a fracture and accelerate healing in a proven localised manner. We believe this will bring a step-change in orthopaedics, allowing us to treat fractures more safely, effectively and at a lower cost.”

Increased life expectancy has led to a significant rise in age-related diseases and healthcare costs, with nine million osteoporotic fractures occurring worldwide each year. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will experience them in UK. The global market for new bone materials is also expanding rapidly, with an estimated value of $5bn alongside the 2.2m annual procedures that require bone substitutes or orthobiologics.

“Renovos will address the orthopaedic regenerative medicine market by offering unique skeletal cell populations, regenerative assays, and proprietary cell and drug delivery technologies,” Richard adds. “Our first target is tibial fracture repair, which currently fail to heal in up to half of all cases. Our injectable nanoclays offer the potential to enhance a range of existing orthopaedic devices.”

The Renovos team is looking for investment and potential partners to drive further development and delivery of the technology. If you are interested in helping bring these orthopaedic regenerative medicine solutions to market, you can get in touch with Renovos using the contact form on this page.

nanoclayThe ambitious spinout, based at the University of Southampton Science Park, is also developing a wider portfolio of therapeutics, products and services to address research and clinical market needs in hard and soft tissues. The patent pending bone repair therapeutics are complemented with offerings for enriched bone stem cells for orthopaedic research and high-value contract services for screening compounds and biomaterials.

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