NEOSTEO is a French innovative startup specialized in the development, production and marketing of advanced implant solutions aimed at simplifying orthopedic and trauma surgery. NEOSTEO offers a smart implant line of Osteotomy Solutions to treat knee arthrosis deformities. The SME wanted to collaborate through the IN2LifeSciences network, to evaluate its “FlexitSystem” solution by measuring stability and strength of the high tibial osteotomy.
The FlexitSystem implant, used for medial high tibial osteotomy, is shorter and thinner than traditional solutions. Thanks to its smaller dimensions, patients may experience less discomfort from the plate, which may eliminate the necessity of implant removal after surgery. NEOSTEO wanted to check the primary stability of the system during the osteotomy reconstruction period. Experimental tests were therefore performed with the Dutch experts from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, allowing the company to get their first preliminary results with their product.
“IN2LifeSciences has given us the opportunity to get in touch with European expertise and start a collaboration. This project is eventually helping us to improve medical device implant technology for Mini Invasive surgery approach for patients having knee arthrosis. We are now entering a second phase with a multicentric human clinical study.”
One of the barriers when developing new drugs is the recruitment of patients for clinical trials. This is obvious to two entrepreneurs Henrik Vincentz and Torben Lind who established Medicollect two years ago. They recruit patients for clinical trials from an extensive database. Both come from market research companies and have experience in building databases of several hundred thousand people in the Scandinavian countries. Henrik Vincentz explains: “I had success with my previous company UserNeeds where I built a database of 300.000 people of which 135.000 were Danes. People who registered in this database gave a lot of information about their medical history, their age and where they live. We saw an opportunity in transferring our database experience to the clinical trials field.”
A supplement to hospital recruitment
Medicollect is very well received in Denmark, where all stakeholders (CRO’s, the medical industry and investigators in the hospital system) all express the need for a database based recruitment service. Today Medicollect provides several investigators with the sufficient number of patients for their clinical trials. Some patients are still recruited at the hospitals, but Medicollect can supplement patients very quickly from the database. The trial sites are able to start the trials sooner and also to recruit a larger number of patients than expected. This makes it possible to conduct the trials faster and also increases the income at the site which is often paid per patient by the sponsor. “We can screen up front and make patients ready to be included in the trials right from the start. Using database recruitment also makes it possible to centralize trials sites. Instead of having trial sites at for instance 5 hospitals in the Copenhagen region in order to recruit smaller numbers of patients from each hospital only one site may be located at one of the region’s hospitals. The patients don’t mind travelling for up to an hour to participate in a trial,” Henrik Vincentz explains.
European launch facilitated by an IN2LifeSciences voucher
Henrik Vincentz and Torben Lind see huge perspectives outside Denmark. First step in a European launch of Medicollect’s recruitment service, is to launch the service in Holland. “Holland is in our opinion very much like Denmark, but it is a bigger country. We start by launching our recruitment platform, adapted to Dutch conditions,” Henrik Vincentz says. “A small company like Medicollect, which is just getting up and running has to watch the costs very carefully. This launch is facilitated by an IN2lifeSciences voucher of € 7000 and a Dutch collaboration partner, who will help with the adaptation,” says Henrik Vincents.
In Denmark Medicollect is currently working with the German company Grünenthal, as well as Sanofi, Novartis and GSK.
A two day training session was made possible for the Lower Saxony company Fassisi GmbH. Fassisi is a German manufacturer of lateral-flow on-site rapid assays for livestock and companion animals. The Regional Access Brokers of IN2LS found a company from the Netherlands that is able to support the head of R&D and a technician from Fassisi in getting more insight in regard to the development of immunoassays and especially about competitive lateral flow immunoassays. Further collaboration between the two companies are likely to happen.