Swiss biotech firm invents a minimally invasive “fracture putty” that heals Osteoporotic fractures in load bearing areas
Swiss Firm Touts Osteoporosis Treatment (written by Biloine Young @ OTW)
The Worldwide, an osteoporotic bone breaks every 3 seconds. A particular scourge for women (although men are also affected) osteoporosis plagues approximately 200 million individuals. The onslaught is relentless. About one-tenth of women aged 60 are affected. That number jumps to one-fifth of women aged 70 and up to two-fifths of women age 80. Osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, the US and Japan.
The Ozics Group, a Swiss biotech firm, believes it has found a treatment for osteoporosis. It has developed a technology platform, known as Ozics Comp06, which the company claims enables a transcutaneous repair of fractures on load-bearing bones such as hips.
A primary method to treat such factures has been to use metallic hardware such as plates, screws and pins combined with bone cement known as Poly-Methyl-Methlacrylate (PMMA). PMMA is supplied as a powder and a liquid that are mixed together to form a dough-like resin. It is applied surgically with a spatula or syringe where it hardens on the bone.
In recent biomechanical studies at the AO Development Institute, Davos, Switzerland. and the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, PMMA bone cement was shown to enhance fixation strength in femoral fractures when it was used around metallic fixation screws. However, the material has no bonding abilities, so there was no bonding to the bone. It only fills the void without any integration to the bone.
The Ozics Group claims that its Comp06, unlike conventional PMMA bone cement, forms a solid bond with the bone. CompO6 is a composite material of polymer and ceramic including hydroxyapatite. When that mixture comes into contact with a watery solution it forms an apatite-rich layer over the bone, creating a bio-compatible ceramic that is chemically related to bone.
Within minutes after delivery of CompO6, the substance forms a solid bond between the implant surface and the bone. The paste-like material flows into the interstitial spaces of the cancellous bone, forming a mechanical lock with the bone. According to the company, the load-bearing feature of CompO6 allows patients to regain pain-free mobility with less rehabilitation shortly after the minimally invasive application. The first set of clinical trials for CompO6 will be in 2012.
According to Dr. Auvo Kaikkonen, president and CEO of Ozics Group, CompO6 will initially be targeted for the treatment of osteoporotic spinal fractures. “We believe the unique innovative material that Ozics has created will revolutionize fracture management and eventually be used prophylactically before the fracture has occurred,” he said. “CompO6 will be the first injectable load-bearing fracture fixation implant offering which will improve patients’ fracture care.”