Spinal Disc Nucleus Replacement

BACKGROUND In the last 10 years commercial interest in treatment of spinal degeneration in relation to back pain has increased with a large number of devices competing in a market estimated to be worth more than $3.5bn and growing at 15 - 20% pa. This technology being developed at the University of Manchester has a number of advantages over competitors. THE TECHNOLOGY Nucleus replacement or repair: this technology will replicate the function of the natural nucleus of the spinal disc whilst maintaining the surrounding annulus fibrosus, a structure that bounds the load bearing nucleus pulposus (NP) cells and their matrix. This approach is relatively tissue-sparing and could be used as a treatment in patients at an early stage of the disease process- a first step in the continuum of care. Replacement autologous cells can be injected into the nuclear tissue together with a novel supporting scaffold gel. Mesenchymal stem cells or human bone marrow stromal stem cells would be collected from the patient, grown to a differentiated nucleus pulposus phenotype and then injected into the appropriately prepared disc in a carrier gel. The carrier gel matrix could either be our proprietary carrier matrix or the licensee’s own. Our novel load bearing scaffold gel might also be considered as a separate treatment option. Both elements of this system are available for licence independently. KEY BENEFITS
• Minimally invasive spinal disc reconstruction
• Scaffold gel material can be used independently and has low regulatory hurdles
• Simple procedure- shorter/no hospital stay
• Revision strategy is fusion or total disc replacement
• Expands market to include younger, untreated patients APPLICATIONS This treatment could be used for a range of early stage patients with clinical indications such as:
• Degenerating disc at one level only
• Low back pain (with or without leg pain)
• Extended, unsuccessful non-surgical treatment
• Intact facet joints
• Healthy annulus OPPORTUNITY Of Interest to Biotech and Biomedical companies with a view to licensing or collaborative development.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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