Surgeons and physicians have had their dreams answered. Soon, it will be possible to repair, graft and even grow bones ready to order, thanks to pioneering Israeli stem cell technology.
New stem cell technology from Bonus BioGroup, a pioneer Israeli biotechnology company will allow the generation of custom made bones. These ready to order bones will ease surgical intervention and will be more easily accepted by the patient’s body because they will be formed from the same patient’s bone tissue.
I communicated with Dr Shai Meretzki CEO of BonUs Therapeutic Ltd. based in Haifa, Israel.
How will matching bone parts be manufactured?Bonus BioGroup developed a method to grow unique 3D bone grafts, based on the propagation of adult stem cells. First,qualified technicians scan the damaged bone area using 3D imaging. Missing bone parts will be constructed according to the 3D images using the unique bone tissue extracted from the patient.
Using unique technology stem cells and other cells will be extracted from the fatty tissue. Using a 3D scaffold constructed from the images, the bones will be seeded and regenerated ex-vivo – outside of the patient’s body - but in conditions similar to those found inside the body.
Once the bone is ready it is inserted in place in the patient’s body.Is the bone piece an exact fit?Yes, a live implant, based on the patient’s cells, matches exactly the spatial configuration required to complete the existing bone deficiency in the patient.Has Bonus BioGroup performed any trials yet?Yes, the company has successfully performed transplants of constructed human live bone implants in animal models and is currently preparing for the first clinical human trials.What do you call this type of medical technology?It is known as regenerative medicine. The products being developed by Bonus BioGroup involve cell-matrix hybrid technology.Can this type of advanced medicine be used in other fields?Because the newly generated bones harmonise so well with the surrounding tissue, most orthopedic and dental applications or fields dealing with bone repair could use this technology. For example, for treatment of major disorders, such as bone transplantation and various types of bone and joint trauma: hip fractures, knee injuries, etc.
What size is the market for something like this?Large and growing. Currently, over 2 million bone grafts are being performed annually. The market size at present is estimated at $15 billion USD worldwide.
The bone regeneration research work was carried out in cooperation with leading scientists from the Technion, Institute of Technology, the Weizmann Institute of Science and leading worldwide medical centres.
Bonus BioGroup was founded by Dr. Shai Meretzki, following over a decade of bone regeneration research. In April 2012, Bonus BioGroup accomplished a full capital share purchase of BonUsTherapeutic Ltd.