MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Venture Capital has invested in CircumFix Solutions, a Tennessee, US-based start-up that has developed a new sternal closure device to improve patient recovery after open chest surgery, as per the company's press release.
The patented orthopedic device, made of a high-performance polymer from Evonik, closes and holds the sternum securely together after surgery.
“We are seeing a revolution in implantable medical devices with the shift from metal to high-performance polymers and this investment supports that shift,” said Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik Venture Capital. “Patients and doctors can benefit enormously from a technology that is safe, reliable and enhances recovery.”
CircumFix’s medical device is composed of a slender chest plate placed on the sternum and held in place by fasteners that encircle the sternum and are affixed to the plate. The construct allows for even “load sharing” of bone and device and restricts motion, which increases stability and reduces pain. Surgeons can close the sternum faster and more easily than with traditional devices. Should a further operation be needed the device can be quickly reopened and closed again. It is safe and comfortable as a permanent implant. In comparison to some metal devices currently on the market, bones and tissue aren’t damaged.
The Evonik material used in the closure device is an implant grade polyether ether ketone, or PEEK. The material is biocompatible - not harmful or toxic to living tissue - and bioinert - it doesn’t initiate a response from the body. These properties as well as being hydrophobic - repelling water - significantly reduce the chance of infection. Being made from PEEK polymer means that the device is transparent to x-rays and therefore doesn’t interfere with post-surgical diagnostics.
“The investment will deepen our relationships across the medical technology industry and with engineering companies,” said Marc Knebel, head of Medical Systems at Evonik. “At the same time, we can reach US clinical experts in orthopedics, many of whom are less aware of PEEK as an alternative to titanium and stainless steel.”
The US sternal closure device market was estimated at USD1.4 billion for 2021 with more than 700,000 procedures performed per year. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent reaching USD1.9 billion by 2026.
The investment will allow Evonik to build on expertise already acquired in implant-grade high-performance polymers. PEEK is already used in spine, skull, jaw and face surgery as well as orthopedics and has high potential to be used in other medical applications.
Evonik markets its high-performance polymer Polyether ether ketone under the name VESTAKEEP.
As MRC reported before, Evonik is investing a three-digit million-euro sum in the construction of a new production plant for bio-based and fully biodegradable rhamnolipids. The decision to build the plant follows a breakthrough in Evonik's research and development. Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants and serve as active ingredients in shower gels and detergents. Demand for environ-mentally friendly surfactants is growing rapidly worldwide.
We remind that in February, 2020, Dow and Evonik entered into an exclusive technology partnership. Together, they plan to bring a unique method for directly synthesizing propylene glycol (PG) from propylene and hydrogen peroxide to market maturity.
Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: to improve life today and tomorrow.