Reassembling dem bones

Bone tissue can now be reduced to particulate and reassembled together at the molecular level into virtually any shape or size.

Osteotech expects to begin limited commercialisation of its new-patented plexus technology at the end of 2001. Using this technology, bone tissue is reduced to particulate and reassembled together at the molecular level into virtually any shape or size.

‘In recent quarters, we have reported that we have been experiencing rapid growth in revenues of our bio-implant tissue forms. There has been insufficient inventory, however, to meet the strong demand for these bio-implants due to a of donated tissue available to Osteotech fromwhich these bio-implants can be processed,’ said Arthur A. Alfaro, Osteotech’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

The plexus technology is exciting because it will give us the capability to maximise the use of all the donated tissue, thus increasing the number of patients that will be helped from each family’s precious gift of donation.’

James Russell, Ph.D., Osteotech’s Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, said that, ‘We have obtained six patents on the plexus technology and have several others pending. Since the plexus technology provides us with the ability to reassemble bone from a single donor into any shape, it allows us to more fully utilise the donor’s tissue and substantially improve the number of tissue forms that can be derived from that donor.’

‘In fact, the first application of the technology will be to add plexus processed bone tissue to an existing tissue form allowing us to use tissue that would not normally yield this type of tissue form. Application of this technology also means that the availability of bio-implants will no longer be restricted by the anatomical structure of the donated bone’.

Mr. Alfaro commented further, ‘The plexus technology will be introduced into Osteotech’s processing system in two phases. The first phase, which will be available by the end of 2001, will give Osteotech the capability to process tissue that otherwise may not have been used or may have been available for non-weight bearing surgical procedures only. Instead, we can process it into weight bearing tissue forms such as bio-implants. This then will help us to satisfy more of the demand for these types of tissue forms.’

‘Additionally, the second phase of the introduction of the plexus technology is aimed at allowing us to further enhance the utilisation of donated tissue. It has the potential to increase the number of bio-implants that can be produced from donors by as much as 1500%.’

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