4.11. 2010 BioTurku®

Finnish antibiotic-releasing screw coming to operating theatres soon

Press release October, 29, 2010

The Finnish biotechnology company Bioretec Ltd., based in Tampere, obtained the CE mark and sales permit in EU countries in September for its bioabsorbable antibiotic-releasing screw used in operating theatres. The novel implant helps reduce infections and the need for reoperations on bone fracture patients.

The antibiotic-releasing CiproScrewTM implant solves a significant medical challenge: it fixes and supports the bone during healing while precisely and safely releasing an antibiotic locally to prevent infections.

The antibiotic-releasing screw is used to treat, for example, complicated fractures, osteotomies, and arthrodeses and in the fixation of bone fractures in patients when infection is a potential risk. Advanced age and illnesses such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and alcoholism increase the risk of infection. Trauma surgery patients are particularly prone to serious infections arising from bone fracture fixation.

Turku University Hospital has conducted clinical research on the CiproScrewTM implant. Professor Hannu T. Aro of Turku University Hospital has performed ankle fracture fixations using the antibiotic-releasing screw.

- The new antibiotic-releasing screw works well in the treatment of these difficult injuries, and it is as effective as metal screws. Should the antibiotic-releasing screw prove to be as successful in broader patient studies, future patients will no longer need to take antibiotics prior to their operation," says Professor Aro.

Developing a successful bioabsorbable product for use in an operating theatre is an ambitious project. Bioretec's founder, Professor Pertti Törmälä, has 30 years' experience researching bioabsorbable materials. According to Törmälä, the strength properties of the new antibiotic screw are based on Bioretec`s in-house developed process to create mechanically active polymer-material. Infection prevention is based on the combined broad-spectrum ciprofloxacin.

- The implant degrades in a controlled manner over the course of two years, releasing the antibiotic for about six months after the surgery, confirms Törmälä.

The antibiotic screw can help reduce costs in the health sector by preventing additional complications and renewal operations.

Bioretec will start CiproScrewTM deliveries in the beginning of December.

For additional information, please contact:

Pertti Törmälä, Professor, tel. +358 40 5146 944, pertti.tormala@bioretec.com  
Hannu T. Aro, Professor, Turku University Hospital, tel. +358 40 353 7644, hannu.aro@utu.fi