Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) has announced that biotech startup, Renovos, will receive the first investment from its newly launched the Ronald Furlong Fund, a partnership between ORUK and HS., established this year in memory of the charity’s founder.
The announcement comes after a national competition, during which, startups were put through their paces by leading healthtech experts, HS., and a final decision made by the ORUK scientific and investment committees.
The £140,000 investment will support the biotech entrepreneurs in solving a key unmet need for patients with painful and debilitating bone and joint conditions.
Renovos, a regenerative medicine company, has now raised £700k to date and is a pioneer of new nanoclay gel technology RenoviteTM, which has the potential to transform orthopaedic surgery. The gel allows a 100x lower dose of powerful regenerative therapeutic agent to be precisely delivered and localised to the sites where needed, and early trial data demonstrates that it contributes to improved bone healing. This consequently offers a step-change improvement in safety, efficacy and ease of use, as well as reduced adverse events and complications compared with current orthopaedic interventions.
ORUK is one of the first UK charities to invest in promising technology startups following a growing trend in the US. Previously the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation invested into a small biotech firm, later enabling the charity to deploy the investment returns into more initiatives to support and improve the lives of people living with the condition.
Dr Arash Angadji, CEO of ORUK said: “We are the first charity supporting start-ups with a focus on musculoskeletal health in the UK. The Ronald Furlong Fund initiative will play an important role in assisting entrepreneurs and innovators to quickly turn ideas into reality, with measurable benefits for the entire healthcare ecosystem.
Effective collaboration with HS. was instrumental in identifying Renovos and their exciting technology, and I am delighted to welcome them as ORUK’s first investment.”
Professor Richard OC Oreffo, Founder and CSO of Renovos said: “We are delighted to receive support from ORUK, which will aid the development of our next generation orthopaedic regenerative medicine solutions, harnessing nanoclay gels to deliver bone forming agents safely and cost effectively.
“The partnership will significantly enhance Renovos’ ability to further develop innovative technologies to support the ageing population as well as younger, active individuals.”
Bringing Renovos into the HS. portfolio, Founding Partner, Dr. James Somauroo said:
“It quickly became apparent that Renovos has the potential to fundamentally change the way extremely powerful and sometimes harmful drugs are given around bone. During the interview phase we were impressed by the immense knowledge and expertise of the team and we’re now excited to join the journey and to use our networks to help take them to the next level.”
Renovos’ RenoviteTM is underpinned by decades of pre-clinical research at the University of Southampton and Professor Peter J.S. Smith, Director, Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southampton has praised the innovation for its potential to create positive impact for patients and health systems of the future.
With an ultimate vision of pain-free movement for all, ORUK will continue to search for and invest in promising start-ups, to support the creation of cutting-edge solutions that will benefit those living with debilitating bone and joint conditions.