Orthox Limited, a clinical stage company developing medical implants to repair damaged knee articular cartilage and other orthopaedic injuries, announces the completion of a further $4.3m (£3.2m) to close its $12.5m (£9.2m) Series A financing round.
The financing will support further clinical trials of its lead product, FibroFix™, at Southmead Hospital Bristol, UK and in Budapest, Hungary.
The current financing was led by Parkwalk, the UK’s most active investor in the university spin-out sector, joined by existing shareholders including Oxford Technology & Innovations EIS Fund (OTIF), advised by Oxford Investment Consultants LLP, and Perivoli Innovations. New investors participating include experienced life science fund managers, Additio Investment Group.
Commenting on the financing, Nick Skaer, co-founder and CEO of Orthox said:
“This $12.5m Series A financing round from a range of high quality medtech investors reflects the strong progress we are making with our award winning FibroFix product platform. FibroFix is unique in emulating the functional properties of cartilage while also facilitating rapid tissue regeneration in patients suffering the debilitating effects of serious knee cartilage injuries. With our approach there is significant bone sparing and strong tissue integration of the implant, which will result in much faster patient recovery from surgery.”
The pivotal clinical trial is expected to open for recruitment later this year with a first cohort of six patients and six months follow up. This will demonstrate initial safety following which the trial will be expanded to 75 patients with two years of follow up. The Company has also submitted a regulatory dossier to the Hungarian medical device regulatory authority, OGYÉI, and is planning clinical trials sites in Budapest and additional leading European Hospitals.
Lead investor Parkwalk’s Investment Director, Neil Cameron, commented:
“We see tremendous potential in Orthox’s product platform FibroFix to enable people with orthopaedic injuries to quickly bounce back into doing everyday life activities. Tissue regeneration to treat major cartilage defects is projected to be a $7bn market by 2024. We also see specific value in supporting athletes rapidly returning to form following sports injuries. Parkwalk is excited to be continuing our support for Orthox in this next stage of growth.”
New investor, Additio Investment Group’s Raj Airey, commented:
“What attracted us to invest in Orthox is the medical technology experience of Nick and his team, and their laser focus on developing the company’s unique approach to knee repair, FibroFix. Not only does FibroFix offer swift surgery and recovery, but it is minimally invasive, and nurtures the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. That’s a winning proposition to take into new clinical trials this year.”
FibroFix™ is targeted at treating injuries to the articular cartilage in the knee which covers the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). It protects the surface of these bones and allows the joint to operate smoothly. Around 900,000 patients a year in the US suffer from traumatic, often sports-related, injuries to articular cartilage in the knee (1). These injuries are inadequately served by current procedures, typically debridement (trimming away the damaged tissue), and/or microfracture (punching holes in the subchondral bone, to allow bleeding and formation of scar and fibrous tissue). Knee cartilage damage can lead to osteoarthritis, which resulted in over 1.3 million total knee replacements in the US and EU in 2011 (2) (3).
(1) – Cartilage Defects: Incidence, Diagnosis, and Natural History. Oper. Tech. Sports Med. 26, 156–161 (2018):
(2) – International Orthopaedics (SICOT) (2011) 35:1783–1789 Kurtz et al.:
(3) – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in the U.S., over 754,000 knee replacements were performed in 2017:
Orthox is a clinical stage company developing medical devices to repair damaged cartilage and other orthopaedic injuries. Orthox’s FibroFix™ technology, originating from Oxford University, is a revolutionary tissue scaffold based on fibroin, a tissue regenerative protein extracted from silk fibres. FibroFix™ implants remove only the damaged tissue, employing bone-sparing, minimally invasive surgical techniques which enable rapid patient rehabilitation. By combining superb strength and low friction with tissue regeneration FibroFix™ offers the potential for better long-term outcomes, nurturing the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. FibroFix™ products have the potential to address an annual market in the knee joint alone estimated at over $2 billion.
The company was spun out of Oxford University and is led by experienced medtech entrepreneurs. The company has raised over £21m, including awards from leading biomedical funding programmes including Wellcome (£2.65m in Translation Awards), the NIHR i4i Programme (£1.9m in Late Stage Product Development Awards), the UK’s Innovation Agency (a £1.7m Biomedical Catalyst Fund Award) and Horizon 2020’s EIC Accelerator (a €2.5m grant). Orthox employs 18 people at its site in Oxfordshire.
Parkwalk is the largest growth EIS fund manager, backing world-changing technologies emerging from the UK’s leading universities and research institutions. With £360m of assets under management, it has invested in over 150 companies across its Parkwalk Opportunities and Knowledge Intensive EIS Funds, as well as the award-winning enterprise and innovation funds Parkwalk manages for the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol and Imperial College.
Parkwalk invests in businesses creating solutions to real-world challenges, with IP-protected innovations, across a range of sectors including life sciences, AI, quantum computing, advanced materials, genomics, cleantech, future of mobility, medtech and big data.
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