Altach Biomedical raises €1.2m for cartilage injury treatment

22 May 2024

Founder and co-inventor Prof Danny Kelly. Image: Altach

Dr David Browe, chief technology officer and one of Altach’s inventors, said more than a decade of research and development has been conducted on the product.

Altach Biomedical, a start-up that is working on novel ways to regenerate damaged or diseased musculoskeletal tissues, has raised €1.2m to bring its product closer to market.

A spin-out of Trinity College Dublin, Altach has developed a novel biomimetic (the imitation of biological processes from nature) scaffold made from collagen.

This scaffold helps patients with musculoskeletal issues such as articular cartilage injuries to heal by mimicking the properties of native cartilage. According to Altach, it encourages innate cartilage regeneration and offers a more effective alternative to traditional cartilage repair methods.

“Our technology marks a significant advancement in how we treat articular cartilage injuries. Our scaffolds could reduce recovery times and increase the quality of healing, profoundly improving patients’ daily lives,” said CEO Tomir Kosowski.

The funding round announced today (22 May) saw participation from a range of investors, including NLC Health Ventures’ Stepping Stone Fund, Castanjo BV, a crowdfunding campaign on Spark Crowdfunding, and two unnamed angel investors.

Altach founder Prof Danny Kelly is the chair of tissue engineering at Trinity. He told in 2022 that the company aims to develop new approaches to help regenerate damaged joints such as the knee or the hip.

“We hope to develop a biomaterial that we can implant into patients [who] damage the cartilage in their knee in the hope that it will regenerate the cartilage and reduce the pain they would ordinarily suffer due to the damage in the joint,” he said at the time.

Dr David Browe, chief technology officer and one of the inventors, said that more than a decade of research and development has been conducted on the Altach product, taking the technology from initial proof-of-concept studies to pre-clinical evaluation.

“We have already met several key development milestones including the recent granting of our US patent; however this funding will now allow us to scale up manufacturing and validate our product in advance of clinical use,” Browe said.

“Altach’s scaffolds represent a significant leap forward in the ability to treat cartilage lesions. This technology reduces the need for invasive surgeries, lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes for patients,” added NLC investment manager Jola Danaj. “We are excited to support Altach as they progress towards clinical trials and eventual commercialisation.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic