The use of 3D printing in medicine has long ceased to be limited to materials such as PEEK (more on PEEK 3D printing here). The Pozvonoq startup of the North-West Technology Transfer Center and the Russian manufacturing company Ortoinvest has begun laboratory tests of ten lines of intervertebral cages designed to stabilize the spinal column. The successful conduct of technical expertise and the receipt of a single registration certificate will allow the serial production of medical devices as early as 2022.
The catalog of serial products of the Pozvonoq company includes more than six hundred standard sizes of ready-made intervertebral cages, which allows choosing the most suitable model depending on the specifics of the defect and the anatomical features of the patient's musculoskeletal system. Before the launch of serial production of implants, the startup will conduct toxic-technical testing of products with the involvement of two independent laboratories.
The volume of the Russian market of intervertebral cages in 2019 grew by 45%. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, about forty thousand spine surgeries are performed annually in Russia, with a quarter of them carried out using medical devices from foreign manufacturers. According to the Pozvonoq specialists, the launch of the line will allow replacing about 50% of foreign-made implants for spinal surgery.
“After completion of the registration and certification procedures for Pozvonoq products, the Russian healthcare system will receive more than six hundred different implants for the treatment of degenerative pathologies of the spinal column, which will also be available at electronic auctions of the public procurement system,” said Olga Voblaya, director of Pozvonoq.
Pozvonoq intervertebral cages are manufactured from biocompatible titanium alloy using additive technologies. The products are used for the treatment of herniated intervertebral discs, degenerative and dystrophic changes in the spine, and tumors. The design features of 3D cages allow for better osseointegration of the implant into patients’ bone tissue. It is expected that the cost of finished Pozvonoq products will be 30% lower than that of foreign counterparts with the same performance characteristics. Altermedica, one of the leaders in the distribution of medical products in the Russian traumatology and orthopedics market, will be engaged in the sale of the startup's products.
The North-West Technology Transfer Center is part of the investment network of the fund for infrastructure and educational programs of the Rusnano Group, whose activities are aimed at the commercialization of technologies in the nanoindustry based on the combination of laboratory and technological equipment, as well as a range of marketing and business services for small innovative companies. The North-West nanocenter carries out a full cycle of venture capital construction: it serially creates high-tech companies from an idea to the sale of a ready-made business.
Pozvonoq is a joint company of the North-West Technology Transfer Center and the Russian manufacturing company Ortoinvest that produces medical endoprostheses using additive technologies. The main products of the Pozvonoq startup are 3D printed intervertebral cages used in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients after injuries or serious diseases of the spine.