Israeli company Nobio, which develops materials resistant to microbes, has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its first product, microbial resistant dental fillings. According to the company, headed by Yoram Ashery, formerly CEO of Endochoice and Aposense and a senior manager at Given Imaging, dental fillings are just the start for its technology, which can be applied to eradication of microbes in any field: medical equipment; water coolers; contact lenses; prevention of wear in industry; and more.
"We chose to start with dentistry because the time to market is short and the need is very clear, and not because this is a particularly large market - the medical device market is bigger," Ashery says.
Dental fillings are carried out when part of a tooth has become decayed from microbial contamination, and these days it is usual to use white fillings that are similar in color to the tooth. These fillings, however, are less resistant to bacteria than the metallic fillings that were common in the past. Nobio has developed a white filling that resists bacteria. It has received approval for two such products, and is awaiting approval for two more.
The company said that 200 million tooth restoration procedures are carried out in the US annually, and that two thirds of these are replacements of previous restorations because of penetration by bacteria and the return of dental caries. The cost of replacement fillings in the US is estimated at $5 billion annually, and recurring caries is the main cause of tooth loss.
The company explains that the advantage of its anti-bacterial materials is that they are not solvents, and therefore work long-term, and they are also non-toxic.
Nobio has not yet completed clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of the products that have received FDA approval, but a previous generation of its products demonstrated strong anti-bacterial action in the oral cavity. The company is currently in the midst of a clinical trial of its new product.
Ashery says that the aim is not to market the products directly, but through partners in all the relevant industries. "My experience at Given Imaging taught me how hard it is to market medical products and borderline medical products directly. If we were a one-product company, we would have no choice. We would not wish to take the risk of losing control by tying up our entire future with that of another company that might or might not promote the product. Since we have a range of products, we can afford to take this risk, and if we unfortunately get stuck in one area, we have other openings."
Nobio was founded in 2015 by Prof. Ervin Weiss, head of the Department of Prosthodontics at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem. It was founded with the support of Hadasit - the Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah Medical Organization . A year ago, it raised $3.5 million in a round led by the aMoon fund, headed by Marius Nacht and Dr. Yair Schindel, and Ole Jensen, a dental surgeon and co-founder of the ClearChoice network of dental implant clinics in the US, which was sold to Sun Capital Partners, Inc. Nobio has raised a total of $5.6 million to date.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 12, 2019
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