Tue, Oct 16, 2018 - Page 12 News List

ITRI platform to support medical implant sector

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH:The initiative would help create a local supply chain for medical implants, as Taiwan relies heavily on imports to source its orthopedic implants

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) yesterday launched an initiative to speed up the development of the nation’s medical implant industries, beginning with Ingrowth Biotech Co (可成生技), a start-up that focuses on 3D-printing technology.

The government-funded institute has signed letters of intent with partners to establish a precision medicine and clinical translation research and development center.

The center is to serve as a platform to give the nation’s healthcare providers improved software capabilities to help companies tap into the growing market for customized 3D-printed medical implants, ITRI said.

The institute is to work with National Taiwan University Hospital to identify medical needs and diagnostic data, while VtR Inc (法德利科技) is to develop advanced 3D-printing and modeling software similar to that of Dassault Systemes SA, the software development arm of France’s Dassault Group, which played a key role in designing the Mirage 2000 warplane.

Ingrowth, which makes customized 3D-printed orthopedic and dental implants, would be among the first local start-ups to benefit from the platform, ITRI said.

The platform is part of efforts in translational research, which applies findings from basic sciences to produce meaningful health outcomes and new market opportunities as well as cut reliance on imports, the institute said.

About 55 percent of domestic demand for orthopedic implants are met through imports and the trend would only continue to rise as the nation’s population ages, ITRI said.

The initiative would help Taiwan leverage technology to create a localized supply chain for medical implants and help promising projects to progress through clinical studies to reach commercialization, it said.

Ingrowth this year earned ISO 13485 and Good Manufacturing Practices certification for class I, II and III medical devices, and is developing 3D-printed titanium implants for orthopedics and dental applications, the company said.

The company, which is expected post a revenue for the first time next year, has differentiated itself from rivals by leveraging 3D printing to create porous implants designed to support improved biological fixation outcomes after insertion, Ingrowth chairman Ethan Liu (劉永隆) said.

Ingrowth makes implants customized and standardized specifications, and hopes that the partnership would help the company boost precision in setting 3D printing parameters to yield improved production yield rates, Liu said.

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