FORT WAYNE, IN — Schwartz Biomedical subsidiary, BioPoly LLC, has been awarded $2MM from Indiana’s 21st Century Fund to develop a new orthopaedic implant, called BioPoly RS (ReSurfacing), which will be used to replace only the damaged portion of a joint (i.e. knee, hip, shoulder, phalanges, etc…) as opposed to the entire joint. Patients receiving this new implant will not have to put up with chronic pain that many arthritis sufferers endure while they wait for their joint to deteriorate to the point where they are total joint replacement candidates.

According to Herb Schwartz Ph.D., President and CEO of Schwartz Biomedical LLC and BioPoly RS LLC, the grant will enable Schwartz Biomedical to complete its preclinical research and product development work, as well as the FDA submission which will allow the product to be sold as a medical device. “Our timeline is aggressive,” according to Schwartz, “Product development should be complete within the next 2-3 years with the first implant ready for market launch in 2009.” In order to accomplish this goal, Janine Campbell Ph.D., a Principal Scientist who specializes in chemistry, has joined the Schwartz Biomedical team and will provide her expertise toward the commercialization of this technology.

Schwartz Biomedical has partnered with Colorado State University and the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center to complete the development and commercialization of the BioPoly RS implant technology.

The BioPoly RS material platform is a hydrophilic polymer which has mechanical and biochemical properties similar to that of native articular cartilage so that the implant can interface and articulate with normal joint tissue. Therefore, if the patient has a focal cartilage defect, the surgeon will have a viable option of replacing, or partially resurfacing, only the damaged tissue with the BioPoly RS implant such that the implant will physiologically share the biomechanical loads.

In 2004, Schwartz Biomedical received its first grant, totaling $1.27 million, from the state’s 21st Century Research to commercialize a new total joint material. In 2005, one of Schwartz Biomedical’s subsidiary companies (BioDuct LLC) received $1.35 million in investment capital to complete product development work for a tissue regeneration technology for the knee.