THE CLIENT: ApaTech Ltd
THE BACKGROUND: ApaTech Ltd - a world leading orthobiologics company focused on the development of synthetic bone graft technologies.
THE SOLUTION: A novel material that can provide orthopaedic surgeons with a synthetic alternative to using bone grafts and can speed up the healing process for patients. The synthetic bone could also be used to help people with osteoporosis, bone injuries from accidents or sports, or act as a “filler” to patch diseased and damaged bone. The material has yet to be used in patients but it is hoped that taking this technology from its current early design stage, to a product that surgeons can use, will take two to four years of development by ApaTech.
THE KEY CLIENT BENEFITS: ApaTech is leading the way with the development of synthetic bone for a global market that is enormous. Working closely with the University of Aberdeen will allow ApaTech to incorporate biologically active silicon into orthopaedic bone graft materials to deliver better bone repair. This will also enable improved MRI imaging of synthetic bone graft materials leading to better monitoring of the healing process. The strong relationship with the University will also allow ApaTech to further develop scientific understanding of how bone graft materials can enhance bone regeneration. Tom Buckland, Vice President Research and Development at ApaTech, said: “I am delighted that the strong association between The University of Aberdeen and ApaTech continues to provide access not only to exciting new technologies and product opportunities but also enables us to support important research into the fundamental relationship between new materials and bone biology.”
SUPA EXPERTISE: Dr Iain Gibson and Dr Jan Skakle have worked in collaboration to develop synthetic materials that mimic bone to be used to repair and regenerate bone in patients requiring spinal surgery.
THE COLLABORATION MECHANISM: Licensing. The three new technologies that ApaTech will advance were worked on by two University of Aberdeen PhD students whose studentships were funded by the company. ApaTech Ltd has three licence agreements which allow the company to exploit all three different technologies developed at the University of Aberdeen.