Bone healing company Osteopore (ASX: OSX) has signed an exclusive option to licence novel 3D-printed modular bone implant technology being developed by Queensland University of Technology for use in orthopaedic surgeries.
Under the terms of the agreement, QUT and Osteopore will initially collaborate to generate sufficient clinical data to support and facilitate a submission to Australian, US and European regulators.
The collaboration will include conducting non-human pre-clinical trials in advance of future human trials, along with developing patent strategy and applications in relation to the technology.
Osteopore and QUT will work to de-risk the technology before evaluating Osteopore’s potential acquisition.
If successful, Osteopore will retain the option to secure exclusive worldwide commercialisation rights via a further licencing agreement.
Osteopore will inject $40,000 cash plus in-kind support into the project, which has already secured $100,000 of non-dilutive grant funding from QUT, providing it with a “well-leveraged and low-cost” product development program.
If the project advances towards commercial agreement with QUT, Osteopore will be required to pay a market entry fee of $100,000 and provide up to 6% royalties on sales.
QUT’s technology complements Osteopore’s current bone regenerating products and has shown encouraging early stage results for the regrowth of long bone defects in patients who have lost more than 6cm of bone to injury or disease.
It claims to allow “stacking and locking” between implants while enabling surgeons to reconstruct bone defects based on needs at the point of surgery.
With approximately 2.2 million grafting procedures carried out annually worldwide – and 10% of these involving long bones – Osteopore said modular implant technology could potentially disrupt the current supply chain model of implants, as customisation can be achieved at the point of use.
It also has advantages over traditional grafting, where bone needs to be harvested from another site in the body.
“Modular implant technology is focused on the regrowth of normal bone, and this could provide a commercial and clinical advantage which would translate into a potential share of the bone grafting market,” the company said.