Because of its comparative similarities to human bone structure and its inherent strength and purity, marine coral has long been known as a highly effective bone grafting substitute. Since the 1980s leading clinicians have recognised that coral bone grafts not only shorten hospital stays, but speed up the body’s healing process. However, with the rapid depletion of wild coral from our oceans it was not deemed a viable option from a sustainability point of view. Until now.
Uniquely, Zoan BioMed, in harmony with mother nature, has been sustainably refining growing conditions and harvesting methods for tropical marine coral from its state-of-the-art facility in Ireland for a number of years. Our independent validation studies have proven highly successful, and with enough coral derived bio material to facilitate tens of thousands of bone graft operations annually, the business is readying itself for commercialisation via FDA 510(k).
Each year in the U.S. alone there are more than seven million bone fractures, requiring more than a million bone graft operations. In the EU there are in excess of 22 million women and 5.5 million men aged between 50 and 84 years with osteoporosis. This number is due to rise and the rate of related fractures will increase accordingly.
With increased awareness around the dangers of obesity and the benefits of exercise to human health and longevity, we are now engaging in more sports and physical activity than we have before – which understandably means a marked increase in acute sports related trauma.
The net result of these developments is a significant, ever-growing demand for biomaterials to repair our bones and ensure a better quality of life for those who sustain injury and bone disease.
While there are a number of bone graft options on the market today, including autograph (bone taken from part of one’s own body), xenograph (typically from bovine sources) and man-made unnatural synthetic materials, none are without their issues. Autografts require two painful operations, xenografts are often rejected by the human body, and synthetics lack biocompatibility and are unsustainable and harmful to the environment.
In contrast, Zoan BioMed’s solution represents a truly better way. Uniquely, we design and develop orthopaedic devices applicable in a wide range of clinical settings, through the sustainable cultivation of marine coral. Our next generation biomaterials possess key features including enhanced surface bioactivity, living porosity and integral strength, leading to accelerated healing and the reduced need for secondary surgeries. They are also fully remodelled by the body at optimal resorption rates ensuring healthy bone.
Coral is similar to human cancellous bone and is one of the few xenogeneic materials that can form chemical bonds with bone in-vivo. What makes our solution unique and truly adaptable is the intrinsic and naturally assembled porosity of our coral. Porosity is a key aspect of what coral scaffolds can offer and, because they are naturally forming, they are incredibly strong, efficient and clean.
Another key difference in our solution is our ethical and consistent supply produced to the highest operating standards. Sustainability is in our D.N.A, and nature is our products’ architect.
Nestled on the quiet shores on Lough Inagh, in the pristine and naturally biodiverse environs of Connemara, County Galway on the West Coast of Ireland, Zoan BioMed is creating a quiet revolution in orthopaedic patient solutions, in alliance with nature herself.
Our base in Connemara is within easy reach of Galway’s thriving MedTech hub, but is ecologically unique as it shares a common ethos with the multiple bio-diversity projects underway at Lough Inagh, including the revived planting of Ireland’s ancient Oak Trees, amphibian rescue and water recycling.
Our promise is to achieve better outcomes for bone trauma and bone disease patients around the world, while deeply respecting the world from which our solution emanates. We are proud to be in harmony with, and a prime representative example of, the EU’s Bioeconomic and Blue Growth Strategies.
Our facility uses wind sourced power with no direct reliance on fossil fuels. Our core manufacturing process requires optimum energy efficiency in terms of metabolic rates, lighting and temperature, while our cultivation process relies of a mere 26oC to produce coral compared with the 1200oC required for sintering of synthetics.
Our one time license of coral (CITES approved stock) grandfathers all our future harvests, with no need to return to the ocean to replenish, and no risk or threat to the wild coral resource. Our harvesting technique allows for exponential growth in production and helps offset carbon production. The very minerals we use to enhance the growth of our coral are biologically filtered from the Atlantic Ocean. For us life is water and water is life. Afterall, we humans are 60% water, and our bones are 31% water – so it stands to reason that a natural organism like coral that thrives in clean, healthy water can play a significant role in our own human health. And because we focus on producing fully traceable, safe and sustainable coral bone graft substitutes, clinicians and patients can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with our unique approach and process.
To find out more about Zoan BioMed get in touch