As diseases like obesity become more and more common due to changes in lifestyle, increasing numbers of people are in need of prosthetic operations. The problem is that those with prosthetic devices are at a higher risk for incidences of infection. Genetoo hopes to create a product that will reduce the likelihood of infection for those with prosthetic by applying NASA technology to the health care market.
Scientists all around the world, including biotechnology entrepreneurs from John Hopkins, physical chemists from Stockholm, and biomedical engineers from Harvard, are all working together to deploy an innovative technology that will tackle this issue. Through laser ablation, Genetoo can modify the surfaces of a device in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. That means that prosthetics, and eventually even endoscopic devices, could be completely aseptic.
The technology behind Genetoo comes from NASA, used by astronauts on their space missions. But this technology has far more applications than just outer space. With more than 7 million Americans currently living with an artificial knee, Genetoo hopes to take advantage of a huge international market, worth several billion dollars and doubling every year.
Already, the FDA has granted 2 SBIRs to companies like Genetoo tackling this issue. While those companies merely use coatings to provide a temporary fix, Genetoo’s technology would result in cheaper and faster prosthetic treatments. The company’s main goal is to help patients reduce their pain, and make sure those in the public healthcare system are saving money. Each infection experienced by someone with a prosthetic is 3.5 times more expensive than the initial procedure.
Genetoo first plans to enter the veterinary market, making use of the fact that this market requires no approval from commercialization. Once enough data has been collected and synthesized, the company seeks to enter to the European market, which is regulated differently than the US market. Once Genetoo sees a profit in Europe, they will use their funds to permeate the ever-expanding US market.
Although this three-step plan is based on simple logic, it requires investment. Genetoo seeks to invest in a laser device, which will allow them to charge 10 percent more to medical implant manufacturers seeking a solution to prosthetic-caused infections. With this, they will innovate ahead of the healthcare market.
The Center for Advancing Innovation