Irish medtech firm seeks €15m for bone-repair technology

SurgaColl Technologies has just received European approval to market its first product

A fledgling Irish medtech company is looking to raise €15 million to develop and commercialise revolutionary technology that will allow doctors to repair bone and cartilage in patients.

SurgaColl Technologies has just received European approval to market its first product, a highly porous biodegradable sponge scaffold containing the main constituent elements of bone – collagen and hydroxyapatite – called HydroxyColl.

Put in place in a surgical procedure, it attracts a patient’s own cells, building up natural bone replacement in an eight- or nine-month process, without having to resort to grafts or drug therapy.

The target market is patients who have suffered high-impact fractures – such as crash victims – and those who have bone damage after the removal of tumours. It can also be used to improve bone structure for people suffering with osteoporosis and even in strengthening the bone foundations of tooth implants.

The company, founded in 2010 and spun out of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2012, uses technology developed by the the RCSI's tissue engineering research group, and is the culmination of almost a decade of research.

Knee joints

SurgaColl is also submitting an EU application for another product, ChondroColl – which will address cartilage and bone injury in knee joints – this month.

The company is looking to raise between €2 million and €3 million now to fund the commercialisation of HydroxyColl in key European markets, including Ireland, and to do the groundwork for a human clinical trial for ChondroColl which will be required for US approval of that product.

SurgaColl intends to raise a further €11-€12 million over the next three to five years to fund an eventual US clinical trial.

Chief executive John Gleeson says the company is looking to grow sales to about €50 million by 2019.