Limb-lengthening implant developer Synoste raises several million in funding
The Aalto University spin-out company will use the funds to commercialise its painless limb-lengthening method.
Synoste was founded in 2012, and it has now raised EUR 1.2 million in A-round financing, the first round of financing undergone after seed financing. The funding was raised from existing and new investors, and the company also received EUR 1.0 million from the European Eurostars programme that supports promising growth companies. The funding will be used to fund clinical trials needed for acquiring the CE marking required before the company's product can be launched on the European market. Synoste's products will provide a painless and safe method for lengthening limbs and correcting skeletal deformations.
‘We have documented good progress in our product development process over the past two years. We remain on schedule for our clinical trial, and we are grateful for the trust and continued support from our existing investors and new business angels’, says Synoste's CEO Harri Hallila.
Synoste has decided to keep the A round open for further investments until 30 September.
Painless treatment at patients' homes
Traditionally, limb lengthening has been performed by breaking the bone in two and then pulling the pieces apart using external fixators, with pins and wires penetrating the skin and muscles. The procedure is painful and unpleasant, and there is a high risk of developing complications such as infections and malpositions. Synoste uses an implantable and telescopic lengthening nail that utilize smart materials and are inserted into the intramedullary canal of the bone. The bone is then cut and the implant is secured at both ends using screws.
Patients can perform the lengthening treatment themselves by placing a separate home treatment device around the limb for approximately one minute at a time every morning and evening. The operation of the device is based on magnetic fields, and the device can be used to gradually lengthen a bone by 3 to 7 centimetres. Once the bone has healed after a year or two, the implant is removed.
Synoste team, from left: Ryan Livingston, Ly Kivihall-Hirvensalo, Harri Hallila, Juha Haaja, Taneli Kari, Antti Ritvanen
The method is based on research and development performed at Aalto University by Synoste founders Harri Hallila, Juha Haaja and Antti Ritvanen. They all studied bioadaptive technology at Aalto University and began developing the implant and the method in 2007. Soon after this, they started working with ORTON Orthopaedic Hospital and orthopaedist Dietrich Schlenzka, whose extensive experience provided a good starting point for the collaboration.
‘I was familiar with the technical weaknesses of the old lengthening methods, the associated complication risks, and the properties that had an adverse effect on patients' quality of life. As a doctor, I found the close collaboration with the engineers rewarding and I believe that it has broadened the perspective of everyone involved. The patient-friendliness of the method developed by Synoste is in a league of its own compared to previous lengthening methods, and it significantly reduces the stressfulness of the treatment’, Schlenzka says.
For further information, please contact:
Harri Hallila, CEO