Former Stryker R&D exec spins off new company with novel bone adhesive

Brian Hess

New startup LaunchPad Medical has in-licensed a bone adhesive candidate from Stryker ($SYK). The company is headed by a former R&D manager at Stryker, Brian Hess, who the company named Co-Innovator of the Year in 2010 for his work on this bone adhesive, Tetranite.

At the time, Stryker said Tetranite had the "potential to replace metal fixation in the body and revolutionize the orthopedic fixation market." But the candidate remains mired in preclinical studies, indicating that its development hasn't been a top priority as Stryker has marched on an aggressive acquisition campaign in recent years.

The financial details of the deal remain undisclosed. LaunchPad was founded last July and earlier this month was selected to participate in the 2015 MassChallenge accelerator program.

Tetranite is a unique synthetic biomaterial that can be used to fix bone to bone and bone to metal. Animal studies have shown that it's nontoxic and effective in repairing bone fractures and securing implanted devices, the startup said.

Interestingly, early data has shown that Tetranite acts as a scaffold for bone remodeling; it is reabsorbed and replaced in the body with new bone over time.

As part of the exclusive worldwide license with Stryker for the technology, LaunchPad gained four issued and three pending U.S. patents. The startup said specifically it plans to commercialize Tetranite for use in repairing bones and teeth

LaunchPad is looking to market this technology first in the dental implant market and then in orthopedic applications. The loss of teeth leads to bone loss, which makes dental implants difficult without using bone grafting. The company expects that the bone remodeling aspects of Tetranite will make it a good fit for this use.

"I am truly excited about the opportunity we have to commercialize what will undoubtedly be a game-changing product in the field of bone health," said LaunchPad CEO Hess in a statement. He left Stryker at the end of 2011 and had since been CTO of neural scaffold startup InVivo Therapeutics, a position he recently departed.

- here is the release