Sunday, July 1, 2012

Israeli company grows new bones from fat

The bone takes a few months to grow inside a unique bioreactor.
Make no bones about this technology: Bonus Biogroup, a regenerative medicine company in Israel, has found a way to grow human bone from a patient’s own fat, culled during liposuction.

Following successful pre-clinical testing, clinical trials will begin within the next year in Europe or in Israel on applications ranging from growing bones for dental surgery to replacing bone tissue lost through trauma or illness.

“The standard of care today is autologous bone grafting — taking bone from other parts of the body, breaking it and putting it in where needed,” Bonus founder and CEO Shai Meretzki tells ISRAEL21c. “Two operations are needed for the treatment of harvesting bone from another part of the body,” he says. Obviously, this solution isn’t optimal.

“Our advantage is that the healing process is much faster, and patients of course don’t have to suffer the harvesting procedure,” he adds.

The new innovation pioneered by Bonus evolved from years of research and development at the NASDAQ-traded company Pluristem Therapeutics, which Meretzki founded previously. The technology involves extracting stem cells from a person’s own fat tissues, and transferring them to a special matrix that coaxes the cells to grow into real human bone. -- Karin Kloosterman, Israel21c

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