Holland-Based MDC Scores $1M Round for Absorbable Orthopedic Device

Holland, MI-based medical device startup Magnesium Development Company (MDC) announced earlier this month that it has raised a $1 million seed round. Start Garden’s venture fund and Genesis Innovation Group led the round.

MDC plans to use the money to embark on the next phase of pre-clinical testing for its lead product, BioMg 250. The company describes BioMg 250 as a breakthrough magnesium alloy used in orthopedic fixation devices. For example, say you need a rotator cuff repaired. Traditionally, the implant materials are made of metal or plastic, including absorbable polymers that dissolve as the surgery site heals.

Surgeons tend to prefer plastic devices, MDC CEO Rob Ball said, because metal devices are permanent and interfere with imaging. However, Ball said plastic devices, while widely used, function poorly from a mechanical standpoint, and the absorption process can malfunction or spark an inflammatory response that results in a buildup of tissue that must then be removed. “They just barely work,” Ball explained.

MDC’s implant material differs from other devices on the market because it’s an alloy made up of four common minerals found in multivitamins, Ball said. Once the outside layers of the device begin to be broken down by the body, calcium and phosphorus deposits that promote healing and the re-growth of host tissue are left behind.

“It reduces inflammation and eliminates secondary operations required to remove permanent titanium or stainless steel implants,” Ball said. “Ours has the strength of metal with the absorption surgeons want.”

MDC has already conducted an animal trial with 52-week implants, and with this new round of funding, Ball said the company will put BioMg 250 through more tests and pre-clinical studies to further prove its mechanical properties and bioabsorption rates. Applications for BioMg 250 implants include sports medicine procedures such as ACL, rotator cuff, and foot and ankle repair; according to MDC, the annual market for orthopedic implants exceeds $4 billion.  The company expects to start human clinical trials by 2017.

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