Developing high quality materials for biomedical devices
Many millions of people worldwide rely on medical implants or devices to help improve their health and quality of life.
Despite many advances in the field, one of the major challenges for researchers has been developing materials that are stable in the human body, yet biodegradable.
A new breed of biodegradable polymers
In the 2000s our team started to investigate new non-toxic polymers designed with different degradation rates. The result was NovoSorb, a biodegradable material that can be used to aid the repair of bone fractures and damaged cartilage, and in skin grafts, particularly for treating wounds and burns.
In 2004, CSIRO formed the spin-off company PolyNovo Biomaterials in a joint venture with Xceed Biotechnology in order to commercialise the NovoSorb technology.
One of the key products developed from NovoSorb is Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM). This is a wound dressing intended for treatment of full-thickness wounds and burns where the dermal structure has been lost to trauma, or damaged requiring surgical removal.
Successful clinical trials
Since its formation, PolyNovo has successfully completed a clinical trial of BTM involving 10 patients.
In 2015 PolyNovo was awarded an $11 million contract and a further $25 million in funding from the US-based Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to complete a 150 patient trial with BTM.
PolyNovo secured regulatory approval from the US Food & Drug Administration in January 2016.
The company is now operating from a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Melbourne and has a market capitalisation of almost $1.4 billion.