A South African country is trying to commercialize an injectable bone substitute derived from pigs to replace bones that cannot heal themselves and eliminate the need for costly bone grafts, according to a Bloomberg video.
Not all bones repair themselves — about 10 percent of bone injuries result in complications, says Nicolaas Duneas, CEO of Altis Biologics. The standard procedure is to harvest bone from the same patient, usually from the hip, and graft it in same patient. But bone graft is an invasive, expensive process that involves a second operation and is often accompanied by complications and infections.
Altis is working on a bone substitute using pigs. Surgeons already use pig organs for heart valve replacement but rejection is an issue, Duneas said. Altis Biologics came up with osteogenic bone matrix, a patented cocktail of growth factors extracted from pig bone.
The goal is to replace human tissue harvested from hip surgery, eliminating the need for a second operation. “We’re working very hard to commercialize a product,” Duneas said. “Companies are trying to humanize tissues from animals so they can be compatible and help the body heal itself.”