One of the more interesting biotech companies on the ASX, Allegra Orthopaedics, is about to start a small manufacturing run of its bone substitute material.

Allegra (ASX:AMT) announced last week it was looking into implanting kangaroo tendons into people with knee problems.

This week it has another interesting update — if you can sift through the medical jargon.

Friday morning’s announcement is about something called the Sr-HT-Gahnite Bone Substitute Project, but even the company just refers it as the “bone project”.

What it involves is a biocompatible ceramic material which can regenerate bone. After it’s put into the body, bone grows around it and the original material is absorbed and disappears.

Essentially, what it means is that Allegra can 3D-print bones.

“In the future this can be used to replace some implants as we develop it further, and people won’t have to have metal in their bodies,” Allegra boss Jenny Swain told Stockhead.

What Allegra announced to market was an initial pilot manufacturing run of the first device made with Sr-HT-Gahnite — a spinal cages to be inserted into people after a serious back injury.

“There’s lots of cages out there at the moment, it’s like a little round sort of device that keeps your spine spaces apart,” Ms Swain said.

“There’s titanium ones, there’s PEEK [polyetheretherketone] ones, but there’s none that become bone.”

Allegra will manufacture a small run of the cages to see how Sr-HT-Gahnite goes in production, ahead of a larger-scale launch.

The company is working with the University of Wollongong on the best ways to 3D print the material.

Ms Swain said that eventually, Allegra would be able to print any sort of bone with its technology — not just spine cages.

“We have the rights to commercialise it in any application,” she said.

“Once we get this product to market then we can make any shape for what’s required, but we just needed to get a product out there to prove the concept first.”

Allegra shares were steady at 12c in afternoon trade.