(March 4, 2011)--San Antonio-based GenOsteo Inc. and Austin-based SpineSmith Partners announce an agreement to commercialize a synthetic scaffold that can be used with adult stem cells (ASCs) to produce a new and highly effective bone graft material. The scaffold, developed by biomedical engineers at The University of Texas at San Antonio, provides an optimal way to use ASCs for spinal fusion and restoring bone lost because of trauma or disease.
"Our scaffold offers surgeons a new and better way to deliver ASCs to promote bone formation. Delivering the right type of cells on the right scaffold will improve clinical results in orthopedic bone grafting procedures," said Daniel Oh, UTSA research assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Biomedical Engineering, president/CSO of GenOsteo and a member of the team that developed the new technology. "When the technology reaches the market, we expect it to become the product of choice for orthopedic and neurosurgeons who recognize the need for better bone graft materials."
There are numerous orthopedic applications for the GenOsteo scaffold technology. In addition to the use in spinal fusion and general orthopedics, the scaffolds can be used to support the regeneration of craniofacial bone in patients who have lost a portion of their skulls because of trauma, surgery or disease.
GenOsteo plans to evaluate its scaffold for use in orthopedic applications that impose greater mechanical demands on the graft material. Scaffolds that can withstand mechanical loading, while eventually being replaced by the patient's own bone as it heals, will represent another significant advance in bone grafting and tissue regeneration technology.
SpineSmith will focus on the marketing, sales and distribution of the product. The two partners are seeking growth funds to support product commercialization.
"This agreement is an exciting opportunity for both SpineSmith and GenOsteo," said James Poser, executive vice president of regenerative medicine at SpineSmith. "This development program will bring together one of the brightest and most innovative teams of material scientists and experts in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. I fully expect that when the results of this collaborative effort are realized, we will be able to provide surgeons with the best option for their patients."
Founded in 2008, GenOsteo is the first start-up company out of UTSA that was established to commercialize UTSA intellectual property.
"This is the first example of UTSA bringing together the right environment of faculty research, university policy, IP management and collaboration with the business community to launch faculty-initiated technology ventures from the university, truly an example of UTSA's continued climb toward being a Tier One research university," said Cory Hallam, director of the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship.
GenOsteo is in UTSA's New Venture incubator, which serves as a bridge between San Antonio entrepreneurs and the region's research and development community. Established earlier this year at the UTSA Main Campus, the incubator supports start-up companies commercializing UTSA intellectual property and sponsors research that the university expects will enhance the UTSA intellectual property portfolio.
About SpineSmith Partners
SpineSmith Partners LP is dedicated to creating better ways to facilitate and accelerate the healing of spinal disorders through integration of innovating medical devices and biologic technologies. SpineSmith designs, develops and markets implants and biologics for surgical fixation, correction and tissue regeneration of the spine. SpineSmith's dedication to a collaborative approach between scientists, engineering and spine surgeons results in the development of innovative biological and hardware technologies.
STTM is the University of Texas System technology transfer office serving The University of Texas at San Antonio and other institutions in South Texas. STTM provides leadership in promoting innovation and technology transfer through proactive management of IP, technology development and commercialization to support the missions of member institutions, advance regional economic development and benefit the public.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.