NUI Galway spin-out Loci Orthopaedics raises €2.75m

Loci Orthopaedics
Gerry Clarke and Dr Brendan Boland, Loci Orthopaedics

Loci Orthopaedics looks to commercialise thumb base arthritis implant

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9 July 2018 | 0

NUI Galway-based medical device spin-out Loci Orthopaedics has closed a €2.75 million seed round to commercialise an implant from the treatment of thumb base joint arthritis.

The company’s InDx Implant was developed by co-founders Dr Brendan Boland and Gerry Clarke while they were fellows on the BioInnovate Ireland Programme where they undertook hundreds of hours of clinical monitoring at Cork University hospitals.

Enterprise Ireland funded the development work at NUI Galway through a Commercialisation Fund programme, which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under Ireland’s European Union Structural and Investment Funds Programme 2014-2020.

Some 5% of the population suffer severe thumb base arthritis. This equates to over 40 million people in the US and EU where more than 200,000 surgical procedures carried out each year to address the problem.

The total current total addressable surgical market for thumb base arthritis procedures in the US and EU is estimated at over $600 million per annum. This market size is set to increase further due to several concurrent market growth drivers, such as an aging population, an increase in those most affected, and a lack of tolerance of poor hand function.

This funding will provide financing for 24 months and will be used to advance product development in preparation for clinical trials, initiation of US commercialisation, initiation of EU regulatory approval, clinical follow-up and regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Boland, Loci Orthopaedics co-founder and chief executive officer, said: “Securing this seed round funding will put Loci Orthopaedics firmly on track to achieve the short and medium-term goals required towards getting this product to market to relieve the daily suffering of many patients.”

Gerry Clarke, co-founder and chief technology officer, added: “Thumb base arthritis has a huge impact on the quality of life, and on the independence of patients as they age. Can you imagine having pain on simple day to day tasks such as turning keys in a door, opening a jar, or using your phone? This is the prospect faced by millions of people who are restricted in their daily activities and enjoyment of life. It is these patients we want to help, by bringing the first evidence-based implant design to market for this common but disabling condition.”

Loci Orthopaedics’ InDx Implant is the only implant that can fully mimic the natural but complex motions of the thumb joint as it provides two points of rotation that can move both concurrently and independently of each other while enabling the joint to move in all six degrees of freedom.

The device is also easier to insert and less invasive than any currently available surgical treatment option for this condition. As a result, InDx will provide excellent clinical outcomes and decrease the risk of surgical and clinical complications.

Preliminary research indicates that this device design may also have clinical indications in other small joints of the hands and feet, as well as other joints with complex biomechanics such as the shoulder and elbow.

Loci Orthopaedics is a past winner of the Medtech Ireland Start Up Competition, national winner of the best new business idea at the IBYE competition and was nominated in the emerging medtech company of the year category at the Irish MedTech Association Awards.

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