Heraeus Medical GmbH (Hanau, Germany), a developer and manufacturer of biomaterials and medical products, has entered into an agreement with Locate Therapeutics (Nottingham, UK) to license intellectual property related to its TAOS (Targeted, Orchestrated Signaling) technology in orthopedic applications. TAOS is a proprietary polymer platform that can be applied to a number of medical applications. This agreement represents the first development program of the technology in this field and gives Heraeus Medical the rights to future co-developed orthopedic products as well as the processes involved in manufacturing the final product.
Locate is a privately owned University of Nottingham spin-out company, formerly known as RegenTec, that is specialized in regenerative medicine. The company's platform polymer technology, TAOS, is described as a world first in tissue repair. The material assembles itself following injection into a 3D porous structure, performing thereafter much like an implanted device. The ability to inject the material obviates the need for invasive surgery, and the material degrades naturally, leaving behind newly-formed tissue within the patient.
The company has developed two TAOS-based technologies, with different thermo-responsive properties designed to meet discrete therapeutic and regenerative requirements.
Thermosetting TAOS technology uses liquid sintering to convert an injectable polymer matrix from a paste to a porous solid minutes after it has entered the body. Liquid sinterable particles are created by blending well-established clinical polymers to form temperature sensitive formulations that surface melt and harden together at body temperature to form a scaffold.
Thermoreversible TAOS comprises a free-flowing liquid below 37°C that reversibly forms a porous gel above this temperature. The gel sets, remains stable, and can support cell growth.
In addition to orthopedics, TAOS technology has a number of other medical applications including drug delivery, where a narrow therapeutic window or controlled release is required; cell therapy and culturing; and veterinary medicine.
This agreement follows an equity investment in an undisclosed amount made by Heraeus Medical in Locate Therapeutics in May 2014.
According to Heraeus Medical CEO André Kobelt, incorporating the expertise, technical capabilities, and intellectual property of Locate Therapeutics will accelerate penetration of the regenerative orthopedics space, which "is an important part of Heraeus Medical`s future portfolio strategy."
For its part, Locate Therapeutics is "delighted to be able to commence our first partnered development program with Heraeus Medical, a company that really understands the needs and opportunities that exist in the regenerative medicine space," said Robin Quirk, Director.