Israeli-US company Active Implants has won a grant under the European Union's Horizon 2020 program. The grant is for the development of a future meniscus implant adapted to the patient and capable of releasing various drugs within the knee cavity after being implanted.
The €6 million grant was awarded jointly to a group of research centers, clinical centers and commercial companies in Europe. Active Implant's share is €1 million, and it is leading development of the future synthetic implant. The product will be based on the company's existing technology, an implant that serves as a shock absorber in the event of injury to the meniscus.
Sales of the existing product will start in Europe in July, and the company estimates that it will receive US Food and Drug Administration approval for it by the end of 2020. The product has undergone clinical trials on about 350 patients. The difference between the two products is that the new implant under development will be adapted to each individual patient and will also release drugs that encourage healing of the meniscus.
Dr. Eran Linder-Ganz, vice president of research and development and director of Active Implants Israel, who is responsible for commercial activity in Europe, explains: "Sporting injuries, and particularly injuries to the meniscus, are extremely common. This is a widespread problem: there are about one million patients a year in the US whom an implant like ours could help. For middle-aged people, between 40 and 60, there isn't really a good solution if there is a repeat injury. The current project will help us to leverage the know-how we have accumulated over the past fourteen years for the development of the 'next thing', and to have an impact on a larger population. At present we are the first onto the market, without significant competitors.
"Winning this prestigious grant shows once again that Israeli innovation in healthcare is very significant and represents a model for many countries. We hope to continue to effect an improvement in people's quality of life, particularly as life expectancy rises and with it the expectation of continuing an active way of life even at an advanced age."
According to the IVC website, Active Implants was founded in 2004, and has so far raised $113 million, mainly from US investors, among them Kemmons Wilson, River Street Management, and LS Health Science Partners. The company is headquartered in the US with development taking place in Israel,
Active Implants has an additional product, a hip implant, which has undergone trials on 1,200 people. The product is sold by a British company, but so far revenue from it is not substantial.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 10, 2019
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