Nottingham-based RegenTec was created to build on the research carried out by scientists at Nottingham University. With support from the East Midlands Development Agency, the company has invented a material that works with stem cells and biopharmaceuticals to stimulate the regeneration of tissue in patients.
When injected into the body the material forms a highly porous scaffold structure, which encourages new tissues to form.
The scaffold mechanism also assists the delivery of stem cells and drugs without compromising their effectiveness. This offers a substantial opportunity to deliver a cure to patients with bone, liver, heart or nerve tissue defects.
Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Chief Scientific Officer at RegenTec, and Director of The Centre for Biomolecular Sciences at The University of Nottingham, said: “The ability to inject these scaffold materials could significantly reduce the need for invasive surgery in tissue repair.
“It will mean that operation and rehabilitation times could come down significantly. After injection, the porous material we use gradually degrades, leaving behind only newly formed bone tissue.”
RegenTec has developed an extensive portfolio of patents and hopes that its injectable technology can reach clinics within three years. Its first product – Injectabone – will be used as a replacement for bone grafting, which can be beset by problems which include a short supply of host bone, chronic post-operative pain, and an increased risk of infection. Injectabone will be launched in the US and European markets for use by orthopaedic surgeons.
The material will then be adapted to help in treatment of many other diseases.
Dr Robin Quirk, Managing Director, said: “Regenerative medicine is a hugely exciting worldwide industry that promises to radically improve many aspects of clinical practice. We have a world-first technology that has a remarkable range of future uses.