Orthox’s knee cartilage repair technology made from silk secures £3.2M to close £9.M funding round

Orthod Knee

Orthox Limited, the Oxford-based clinical stage company developing medical implants to repair damaged knee cartilage and other orthopaedic injuries, has completed a £3.2m to close its £9.2m Series A financing round. The financing will support further clinical trials of its lead product, FibroFix™, at Southmead Hospital Bristol, UK and in Budapest, Hungary.

Orthox implants are formed from FibroFix™, a patented, biomaterial with a molecular structure, strength and resilience that emulates human knee cartilage. FibroFix™ is based on Fibroin, a protein extracted from silk fibres, which Orthox process using proprietary technology.
Silk is a remarkable natural material. It is many times as tough as high tensile steel while also being elastic, resilient and biocompatible – ideal qualities for repairing cartilage tissue. Orthox’s FibroFix™ implants are manufactured using ISO standard, commercially sourced, medical silks produced from the mulberry silkmoth, Bombyx mori.

The current financing was led by Parkwalk, the UK’s most active investor in the university spin-out sector, joined by existing shareholders including Oxford Technology & Innovations EIS Fund (OTIF), advised by Oxford Investment Consultants LLP, and Perivoli Innovations. New investors participating include experienced life science fund managers, Additio Investment Group.

Nick Skaer, co-founder and CEO of Orthox said: “This financing round from a range of high quality medtech investors reflects the strong progress we are making with our award winning FibroFix product platform. FibroFix is unique in emulating the functional properties of cartilage while also facilitating rapid tissue regeneration in patients suffering serious knee cartilage injuries. With our approach there is significant bone sparing and strong tissue integration of the implant, which will result in much faster patient recovery from surgery.”

The pivotal clinical trial is expected to open for recruitment later this year with a first cohort of six patients and six months follow up. This will demonstrate initial safety following which the trial will be expanded to 75 patients with two years of follow up. The Company has also submitted a regulatory dossier to the Hungarian medical device regulatory authority, OGYÉI, and is planning clinical trials sites in Budapest and additional leading European Hospitals.

Lead investor Parkwalk’s Investment Director, Neil Cameron, said: “We see tremendous potential in Orthox’s product platform FibroFix to enable people with orthopaedic injuries to quickly bounce back into doing everyday life activities. Tissue regeneration to treat major cartilage defects is projected to be a $7bn market by 2024. We also see specific value in supporting athletes rapidly returning to form following sports injuries. Parkwalk is excited to be continuing our support for Orthox in this next stage of growth.”

New investor, Additio Investment Group’s Raj Airey, added: “What attracted us to invest in Orthox is the medical technology experience of Nick and his team, and their laser focus on developing the company’s unique approach to knee repair, FibroFix. Not only does FibroFix offer swift surgery and recovery, but it is minimally invasive, and nurtures the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. That’s a winning proposition to take into new clinical trials this year.”