Ons 21 feb / År 42 / Nr 4 2023

Integrum’s bone-anchored implant helps American war veterans

The Gothenburg-based company Integrum has developed the OPRATM Implant System, which instead of being attached with a socket around the amputated limb is attached directly to the skeleton. The system is now being implemented in a treatment program for US veterans as the company aims to change the standard of care globally.

O u r s y s te m c h a n g e s t h e v i e w of w h a t s t a n d a rd of l i v i n g a n d f u n c ti o n a l i t y c a n b e a c h i e ve d a f te r a n a m p u t a ti o n

In the 1960s, Per-Ingvar Brånemark research led to a billion-dollar industry by transforming the lives of people without teeth. His son, Rickard Brånemark, is the founder and CEO of Integrum, a company that is well on its way of doing the same for people who have lost a limb. The technology to grow the implant into the skeleton is basically the same, but it has taken decades of development to enable the same technology for larger implants such as bone and arm replacements.

“Today's socket prostheses have fundamental limitations and many users choose to live without a prosthesis. Our system completely changes the view of what standard of living and functionality can be achieved after an amputation,” says Rickard Brånemark, who in addition to being the founder and CEO of Integrum is an internationally recognized surgeon and researcher.

The aim is for OPRATM Implant System to become the new standard treatment after amputation. Since receiving Premarket Approval in the United States in 2020, Integrum has focused on expansion in the US. An important part of this is the partnership that Integrum has established with Veterans Affairs, the organization responsible for the care of veterans. An OPRATM treatment program for amputee veterans was recently launched and the program is planned to expand in the coming years.

A company of great interest

During the summer of 2021, a share issue was made to raise capital for future development of integrated prostheses. For the first time, Integrum has brought in several institutional investors to invest in the company’s development.

“From a Gothenburg perspective, we see that the interest in our business is great, as the Stena sphere has stepped in with capital to finance our research and growth for example. This, and the fact that we in spring 2023 are moving to Gothenburg’s new arena for innovation within Life Science, GoCo Health Innovation City, underlines that we are a part of Gothenburg’s legacy as a leading Life Science region”, says Rickard Brånemark.

Roots, heart, and soul in Sweden

Integrum is in the middle of a major expansion and Rickard Brånemark explains:

“To develop our main business, we collaborate with Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Bionic Center, US Department of Defense and MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to that, we have made around 20 recruitments over the last 12 months. It takes time to establish ground-breaking treatments like ours, but when it finally happens the speed accelerates. That is why we currently experience the most expansive phase of the company’s history so far.”

Rickard Brånemark reveals that for a company that has its roots, heart, and soul in Sweden, Europe will always be important, even though right now most of the focus is on the US expansion.