Renovos partners with Herts to strengthen regenerative medicine that could heal bone damage without invasive surgery
The UK spends over £2 billion a year on bone fracture surgery and this cost will increase as the population ages. Orthopaedic surgery uses implants and metalwork that are invasive, expensive, and often complex in older patients. Consequently, there is a growing need for new regenerative therapies that replace lost tissue and encourage the patient’s own stem cells to repair, which could also be applied at an earlier stage of disease.
Southampton based business Renovos is pioneering nanoclay gel Renovite®, which could heal bone damage through a minimally invasive injection, without the need for an open surgical site. This targeted therapy increases the safety and efficacy of biologic drugs that stimulate bone formation at low doses. ‘We wanted to build on the gel’s initial success by increasing its mechanical strength, adding load-bearing properties to enhance Renovite®’s use across a wider range of orthopaedic applications,’ describes Prof Jon Dawson, Co-founder and CTO at Renovos.
‘We needed funding and expertise that we did not have in-house to test and work towards developing a new product. We commenced a fully funded six-month project called the Therapy Accelerator with the University of Hertfordshire, which gave us access to full-time researcher Michael Cook, Reader in Thermoresponsive Polymers, who has established expertise in the materials we wanted to be working with,’ explains Dr Agnieszka Janeczek, Co-founder and CEO at Renovos. The project took place within the Science building at the University, giving Renovos access to specialist laboratory spaces and equipment.
Initial results are positive, with the partnership developing a material that is eight times stronger than it was originally. It has also retained its ability to be injected through a needle, removing the need for open surgery.