ATLANTA, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — MedShape Solutions, Inc., the industry leader in innovative shape memory orthopedic devices, today announced that it has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health to assist in the research and development of a compliant shape memory polymer device for meniscal repair. Additional funding phases could take the total award amount to over $1.5M upon the achievement of key Phase I development milestones.
The menisci are crescent-shaped pads of fibrocartilage located between the femur and tibia in the knee, and act as shock absorbers to prevent friction between the two bones. They also help stabilize the knee and protect the articular cartilage on the surfaces of the femur and tibia. Meniscal damage can lead to degenerative changes to the surfaces of the knee joint. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, meniscal tears are among the most common knee injuries; athletes, particularly those who play contact sports, are at risk for meniscal tears. However, anyone at any age can tear a meniscus.
Current surgical practice is to attempt a repair of the torn meniscus in order to preserve its function rather than remove it completely. MedShape’s research and development team will use the company’s proprietary shape memory biopolymer capabilities to develop an easy-to-use, robust, and effective meniscal repair solution with clearly defined clinical benefits.
“Meniscal repair devices must be simple to insert arthroscopically, be strong and flexible, and be able to maintain good apposition between the tissue surfaces throughout the healing process for a successful outcome,” said Kathryn Smith, PhD, post-doctoral research scientist at MedShape. “Owing to MedShape’s leadership position in developing shape changing polymer devices, we are uniquely qualified to address these challenges and deliver a superior implant associated with minimally-invasive meniscal repair procedures. The support from the SBIR program is key to helping our team achieve those goals.”
For more information on MedShape or the MedShape line of shape memory orthopedic devices, visit www.medshape.com.
About the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the SBIR program
NIH is the nation’s medical research agency—supporting scientific studies that turn discovery into health. NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.
For more information, visit www.nih.gov.
About MedShape Solutions, Inc.
MedShape Solutions, Inc. is a privately held medical device company focused on developing orthopedic devices from proprietary shape memory technology. In June 2010, the company’s initial product, the MORPHIX® Suture Anchor, received the prestigious Gold Award at the Medical Device + Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) meeting, based on its superior design and proprietary shape memory polymer. The company also recently launched the shape memory polymer EXOSHAPE® Soft Tissue Fastener for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair. For more information about the MedShape line of orthopedic devices, visitwww.medshape.com.
ExoShape and MORPHIX are trademarks of MedShape Solutions, Inc.