Future out-licensing of BioSilicon in tissue engineering and orthopedics

Global nanotechnology company pSivida Limited has announced that it has signed an agreement with US based PureTech Development LLC to investigate and evaluate out-licensing opportunities for BioSilicon with an emphasis on tissue engineering, wound management and orthopedics.

Through a range of collaborative partnerships and internal R&D over the last four years, pSivida has developed the BioSilicon (nano-structured porous elemental silicon) technology platform in non-core areas such as tissue engineering, wound management and orthopedics to a point where it is in a position and in line with the Company’s broader commercialization strategy, to seek suitable partners in these specialist areas of healthcare.

pSivida has commissioned PureTech to explore with suitable partners, arrangements for evaluating the potential of BioSilicon in their areas of expertise and such partnerships would be expected to produce, in due course, revenue in the form of upfront and milestone payments as BioSilicon based products are developed and commercialized.

pSivida’s core focus remains the development and commercialization of BioSilicon for controlled release drug delivery.

PureTech Development is a Boston based organization with affiliates in key global life science markets providing transaction advisory services to leading life science companies. Its focus is in market entry strategic planning, R&D collaborations, in/out licensing agreements, distribution channel development, equity invesents and M&A. For more information visit www.puretechdevelopment.com

As a new and unique biomaterial BioSilicon exhibits many properties that make it an ideal material in which to develop products in these growing areas of healthcare:

  • biocompatible, biodegradable semi conductor
  • abundant, low cost material
  • scale up and manufacture proven over 40 years in the electronics industry
  • micromachineable – nm(10-9) sized for biodegradability and µm for tissue engineering
  • honeycomb structure mimics porous scaffolds found in nature
  • natural by product, dissolves in the body to become silicic acid, the dietary form of silicon found in everyday foods such as beer, rice and wine.

When utilised in tissue engineering BioSilicon can act as a ‘scaffold’ to provide tissue cells with a structure to which cells can anchor and penetrate. As the tissue deposits itself onto the scaffold the porous silicon slowly dissolves away leaving just the new tissue. The silicon dissolves to form silicic acid, the most common form of which is found in everyday foods.

In wound management potential products include drug eluting biodegradable BioSilicon based dressings and sutures. Importantly as BioSilicon retains the semi-conductor properties of silicon thus, electro stimulation can also be incorporated to enhance the healing process.

In orthopedics a range of BioSilicon and composite devices are being considered including screws, braces, pins and staples for reconstructive orthopaedic surgery.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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