Oxford Biomaterials Ltd
Oxford Biomaterials (OBM) is working on a novel vascular graft for hemodialysis access applications. The company has been awarded a TSB Smart grant starting in November 2013, to further develop the hemodialysis graft.
Current synthetic grafts on the market are inefficient, as a consequence of their material composition. 50% of current grafts fail within one year, most grafts require 2 post-operative interventions per year to restore functionality, and over 75% of grafts are replaced within 2 years. Despite this poor performance, vascular grafts must remain a part of dialysis access treatment because more than 33% of dialysis patients do not have vessels suitable for autologous fistulas, the current clinical gold standard for dialysis access. Oxford Biomaterial’s prototype vascular graft is entirely made of natural silk proteins shaped into a tubular scaffold. The biocompatible material will offer the first real alternative to ineffective vascular grafts on the market today. As the OBM graft will be better integrated and last longer than current products, multiple post- operative interventions will be eliminated, significantly improving quality of life and reducing overall dialysis costs to healthcare systems worldwide.
Oxford Biomaterials has been developing this vascular graft in collaboration with the Minimally Invasive New Technology (MINT) Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. MINT and Oxford Biomaterials together are seeking investors for a new spin-out company to develop this exciting and promising product and bring it to patients world-wide.
Neurotex Ltd is a joint venture with Queen Mary's University, London, using Spidrex in nerve regeneration. Neurotex Ltd was established to develop novel silk based products for a new generation of nerve repair materials and treatments.
Neurotex Ltd. is a joint venture company bringing together the unique silk-based materials technology of Oxford Biomaterials Ltd. with the neural regeneration expertise of Professor John Priestley, Head of Neuroscience at Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Oxford Biomaterials Ltd. has designed a Spidrex nerve conduit capable of directing regeneration of a severed nerve.
Research in the laboratory of Professor John Priestley, Neurotex’s Founding Scientist has demonstrated Spidrex to be a highly advantageous substrate for neural regeneration and promotes oriented neural regrowth. Experiments show that regenerating nerve cells bind to Spidrex fibres and grow along them, leading to improved recovery of sensation and motor control by comparison with controls in trials.
The Spidrex nerve repair technology is currently being trialled in peripheral nerve repair, but there are plans to roll out the work into spinal nerve repair in due course.
Hundreds of thousands of patients per year suffer cut, severed or torn nerves. Peripheral nerve injury can result in loss of sensation, paralysis, loss of control of body functions and chronic pain.
Other nervous system injuries, such as avulsion of spinal nerve roots and damage to the spinal cord itself add substantially to the toll. Approximately 35,000 spinal cord injuries take place in the major medical devices markets per year, resulting both in great personal cost and economic burden.
The market for an efficacious neural regeneration conduit is conservatively estimated at $100 million annually.
Orthox Ltd., a spin out company from Oxford Biomaterials Ltd., was established in early 2009 to take forward Oxford Biomaterials' cartilage repair technologies. Oxford Biomaterials Ltd has developed porous Spidrex scaffolds with remarkably similar properties to human cartilage and bone including the capability to withstand compressive loads equivalent to the surrounding cartilage and bone tissue.
Taking advantage of the remarkable strength and tissue regenerative capacity of Spidrex®, Orthox has developed Spidrex® technology for a range of applications in bone and joint repair, with an initial focus on addressing the largely unsolved problem of repair and regeneration of the meniscal cartilage in the knee.
Spidrex® MRS™ is currently in pre-clinical evaluation, and Orthox was awarded €711k with The University of Ulm and the Bundeswehrkrankenhaus in January 2012 to develop long term safety data and fund pilot clinical studies on FibroFix™ Meniscus.
Orthox Ltd.also plans a deep pipeline of further bone and joint repair devices based on Spidrex® tissue scaffolds.
For more information please visit their website www.orthox.co.uk
(Fluorescent image of nerve growth on Spidrex silk : courtesy of Prof. John Priestley, Center for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary University London)
Silk is an outstanding natural protein combining strength and elasticity. Oxford Biomaterials' unique proprietory treatments render all of its silks perfectly biocompatible without altering their mechanical properties. Additionally, some of our silks have an enhanced affinity for mammalian cells due to the presence of repetitive cell binding amino-acid motifs in their protein sequence. Oxford Biomaterials Ltd. (OBM) employs its proprietary Spidrex platform for use in a wide range of medical devices.
OBM and its spin-out companies are targeting three market areas which currently have clear unmet clinical needs: Nerve Repair, Cartilage Repair and Vascular implants. Nerve and Cartilage market opportunities have been taken further through spin out ventures, and Oxford Biomaterials is planning a new spin-out focused on the vascular applications.
OBM also has pipeline developments in wound healing, tendon and ligament applications.
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