Hydrogel implant designed to mimic natural cartilage
This article was originally published in Start Up
The Cartiva synthetic cartilage implant from Cartiva Inc. is mostly water; hence, the hydrogel polymer mimics physical properties of human cartilage. The company is initially focusing on repairing cartilage defects in ankles and feet, specifically the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the great toe, to relieve arthritis pain.
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While the mature hips, knees, and spine segments of the orthopedics industry are growing by low single-digit rates, some sectors of the extremity industry are growing by 13% to 14%. START-UP profiles three companies in different sectors of extremities: Conventus Orthopaedics, in the hand and wrist market, Nextremity Solutions, working on devices for the forefoot, and Cartiva Medical, with a cartilage platform and an initial focus on the great toe.
With hip and knee joint markets still registering slow to modest growth, orthopedic companies looking to add bulk to their bottom line through mergers and acquisitions have pursued two distinct directions – the extremities and emerging markets.
Ideally, the studies would be underway at the time of approval, as the US FDA’s new authority allows, but Office of Therapeutic Products Director Nicole Verdun sys there will be exceptions.