Today’s announced patent grant in China allows Osteopore to tap into local expertise as it prepares to access the big Chinese craniofacial market.

In a major new development, bone healing company Osteopore (ASX:OSX) has been granted a patent in China for its ‘smart’ 3D biometric scaffolds.

The technology was co-developed with researchers from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), and was already granted a European patent earlier this year.

The China patent describes a ground-breaking method by which a magnesium filler, comprising  a soluble magnesium salt, is produced as a thin film and when combined with a suitable polymer, produces ‘smart’ 3D biomimetic scaffolds without requiring solvents or heat in the manufacturing process.

This patent is expected to create several research and development opportunities in the Chinese market, and allows Osteopore to tap into local expertise as part of its product innovation process.

It also marks an important step in Osteopore’s access to the lucrative Chinese market, which currently accounts for 18% of the global craniofacial market and estimated to be worth around $2.2bn.

“We recognise the importance of being a part of the local community in driving product innovation and adoption,” said Osteopore’s CEO, Khoon Seng Goh.

“We look forward to engaging with skilled researchers in China to further develop our next generation implants, and aim to make this innovation available to Chinese surgeons and patients.”


Osteopore’s ‘smart’ 3D biomimetic scaffolds

The Osteopore biomimetic scaffolds are currently already used in several of the company’s key markets and applications.

For example, they are used in a range of orthopaedic procedures, where significant lengths of long bones have been replaced due to damage or disease.

They’re also used for implants in patients that need surgical repair for skull fractures.

The scaffolds are a biomimetic microstructure that promotes blood flow into the implant before inserting, and once in position, attract cells and blood vessels to facilitate bone growth.

The implants then naturally dissolve over a period of 18-24 months, leaving only natural healthy bone.

Today’s patent goes beyond that traditional process by extending the use of polycaprolactone (PCL) through the blending of PCL and tricalcium phosphate (TCP).

In the new process, soluble magnesium salts, magnesium phosphate (Mg3 PO4), are used in combination with regenerative implants to produce ‘smart’ 3D biomimetic scaffolds without requiring solvents or heat.

Magnesium is known for promoting strong bone growth, and the addition of soluble magnesium salts in the material, combined with PCL-TCP, is expected to enhance the bone regeneration process.

Professor Swee Hin Teoh, the president’s chair of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at NTU, and co-inventor of the patent, confirmed the new process will accelerate the bone healing process for patients.

“What we aimed at, was to help the patient grow back their bone structure in the fastest possible time,” he explained.

“So we found a way to embed magnesium needed for bone growth within the scaffold material, which can help to accelerate the process while the scaffold is being reabsorbed —a two in one solution.”

The patent received today will mark another step towards expanding into China, following the previously announced plan to register Osteopore’s business in the city of Suzhou.

An official presence in the country is expected to provide another plank in the company’s emerging presence in the lucrative Chinese market.

Osteopore has just reported the third quarter, with more than $5.9m cash on hand and increasing gross margins that rose from 52.7% to 74.9%.

This article was developed in collaboration with Osteopore, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.