Tor 20 jun / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

Intelligent Implants very close to enter first clinical trials

Wireless electronic impulses can stimulate faster and more efficient healing in human bone and tissue. The Swedish medical technology company Intelligent Implants has in pre-clinical studies proven that neuro modulation can improve the outcome of spinal disc surgeries and other orthopedic surgeries dramatically. The next step is to prove the technology successful in clinical trials.

The team at Intelligent Implants enjoys the creative atmosphere at AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub: Ping Ping Gong, Erik Zellmer, Mats Dotevall, Martin Larsson, John Zellmer, Andreas Bringman, Christian Berkius and Caiwei Xu.

It has been an exciting year for the Gothenburg-based company Intelligent Implants.

“We are in the middle of the initial preparations for our first clinical study, which will include between ten and twenty patients. Funding must be secured to cover the costs of the first trials, and once that is determined, our long-term plan can be put into action”, says CFO Martin Larsson.

Almost ten years of preparations

For clarification, Intelligent Implants has set a strategy where within 14 months after securing the necessary funds, the first clinical study will begin.

“This is something that we have been preparing for now for almost ten years”, underlines John Zellmer, co-founder and COO, and continues; “it feels amazing to be so close to our biggest goal since we started up business in 2014. If our technology and our implants work as well in clinical studies as in our animal studies, we will be able to introduce a completely new line of products on the market, with smart implants that enable a better everyday life for patients and that can increase the quality of life for thousands of people worldwide”.

“We will initially introduce the solution on the North American market. It is the world’s single largest market for this type of medical technology solution”, adds Martin Larsson.

Now entering the next stage

Intelligent Implants has recently worked purposefully to strengthen and develop the team with more interdisciplinary competence. That work will continue to ensure that the company has all the skills needed to run and evaluate the first clinical trials successfully.

Intelligent Implants is really entering the next stage as a commercial supplier of medical technology solutions. This has further been clarified as the company moved out of the incubator environment at AstraZeneca’s Bioventure Hub to its own premises at Goco Health Innovation City earlier this year.

“Our new premises provide us with every opportunity we need to continue our journey of growth, both in terms of more employees, more collaborations and more innovations. At the same time, we are still part of the same community that we have been since we started up at Bioventure Hub several years back, and this provides a lot of know-how and security to our team”, says John Zellmer.

The solution in short

Erik Zellmer developed the initial technology behind Intelligent Implants together with Dr Rory Murphy. Erik’s brother John Zellmer and Martin Larsson soon joined the team, and today Intelligent Implants has a dedicated team of 12 experts in various fields.

The innovation incorporates the latest technology from neuro stimulation with application to orthopedic implants. A small device is implanted close to the bone or even in place of bone, and electronic impulses are used to promote the growth of new bone.

The device is wireless and connected to an external monitoring system, enabling healthcare professionals to closely monitor the bone. As the system is up and running in real-time, it is possible to track changes and plan ongoing care without having to make an x-ray. This saves time and other resources and is above all much safer and easier for the patient.

“We have developed a one-of-a-kind solution, and what we hope to achieve is a shift in focus from mere repairing to a more preventive orthopedic care. We are on our way to success as we enter our first clinical trials”, concludes Martin Larsson.