Irish Firm Enters Bone Graft Market
A Cork, Ireland, based firm, SurgaColl Technologies, is commercializing a new bone graft technology, developed through research at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Ireland. The product, called HydroxyColl, is a scaffold material made up of type I collagen and hydroxyapatite, two constituents that occur naturally in bone. The three-dimensional construct has been developed so that, according to its developers, it is “osteoinductive, ” which means it can spontaneously induce bone growth.
“The premise behind this technology is that we are harnessing nature to induce an effect in the body, ” said SurgaCol’s Chief Executive Dan Philpott in the June 25 news release. “It is augmenting the bone’s natural healing process.”
HydroxyColl, he said, is one of a number of tissue repair technologies coming out of research led by Professor Fergal O’Brien and John Gleeson, M.D., at the RCSI. “They have been looking at the triggers that are needed in the body to produce a host tissue response where tissue gets regenerated. And with that understanding they have developed this highly effective product that can induce the reaction using natural ingredients.”
In practice, HydroxyColl would be used as a surgical implant to stimulate the growth of bone and the fact that the graft does not need to be previously loaded with cells or drugs should make regulatory approval more straightforward, Philpott said.
The company has completed preclinical trials and is focused on scale-up and clinical trials. “Bone grafting is a multibillion euro industry and we are targeting the synthetics end, looking to bring HydroxyColl to market first in Europe and then the U.S., ” Philpott said. He indicated that the RCSI group is developing a pipeline of technologies relating to tissue repair, and the company plans to bring further products to market that target other tissues, such as cartilage.