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6 December, 2006 - 14:00 By Staff Reporter

OrthoMimetics raises £5m Series A investment

 The first technology spin-out from the Cambridge-MIT Institute, OrthoMimetics Limited, has completed a Series A funding round totalling £5m net of costs.

Led by Founder & CEO Dr Andrew Lynn, a team of surgeons, scientists and engineers from the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology established OrthoMimetics to bring to market a revolutionary medical-device technology with the potential to help reduce the need for joint-replacement surgery.

This financing round, managed by independent stock-broking and wealth-management group Eden Financial, was supported by a syndicate of blue-chip investors including Schroders Investment Management Limited, Oxford Capital Partners and Sloane Robinson Private Equity (SRPE) and a group of private investors of Eden Financial.

OrthoMimetics, whose early-stage development was funded by CMI, will continue the collaborations established under CMI while establishing new relationships with key commercial partners.

Dr Lynn said closure of the funding round provided OrthoMimetics with a sound financial basis to move forward swiftly with its development program to bring the first of its products through clinical trials to CE-mark approval.

“We welcome on board a high-quality consortium of investors and look forward to bringing to market a line of products that adds value for our shareholders and addresses the needs of surgeons, healthcare insurers and patients worldwide,” he said.

Backers say the company is in a strong position to become a significant player in the market for off-the-shelf treatments for sports injuries, trauma and early osteoarthritis.

The new funding will enable OrthoMimetics to advance the first two products derived from its orthobiologics scaffold platform towards market approval.

ChondroMimetic, the company’s flagship product for cartilage repair, and LigaMimetic, OM’s pipeline product for ligament repair, address a combined global market in excess of $1bn per annum.

In contrast to drugs, hormones and other OrthoMimetics pharmaceutical products, OM’s medical-device technology offers what the company believes is an effective, low-risk treatment option that is capable of rapid progression through the regulatory process.

Of OrthoMimetics’ flagship product, Chondro-Mimetic, respected orthopaedic surgeon and researcher, Professor Neil Rushton MD FRCS – University of Cambridge Orthopaedic Research Unit, Addenbrooke’s Hospital – observes: “One of the most sensible things about this product is that it works to improve procedures with which surgeons are already familiar and use regularly.

That makes it very easy to understand how it will improve the standard of available treatment.

“This product clearly has the potential to help a lot of people.”

Drawing on a proprietary technology platform, OrthoMimetics’ line of porous, multi-layered tissue-regeneration scaffolds support the separate – yet simultaneous – regeneration of multiple tissue types, helping to repair damage to cartilage, ligaments or tendons and the bone that anchors these tissues in place.

By guiding and supporting the body’s natural repair mechanisms, these products help surgeons to treat damage before it causes more widespread degeneration, allowing patients to either delay joint replacement surgery or avoid it altogether.

Joint replacements typically last roughly 15 years before the implants fail.

While this is likely to be sufficient for patients in their seventies and eighties to live out a healthy, pain-free life, those receiving their first implant in their forties and fifties must face the prospect of one or sometimes several more painful operations to repair their damaged implants.

More than two million joints replacements are performed at a cost of over $30 billion each year worldwide.

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