Australia’s Hidden Gem

By Dr Carl Runde

The regenerative medical technology space is a relatively new but rapidly expanding field that treats injuries and diseases by harnessing the body’s own regenerative capabilities.
Australia is a leader in early-stage commercialisation of regenerative medical technologies.
However, many surgeons are not currently thinking about regenerative options in their procedures due to the fact that they are relatively recent developments, despite the accumulating body of scientific evidence of their effectiveness.
Many habitually return to tried and tested historical approaches to patient procedures, missing the promising regenerative options that already exist and the compelling data behind them.
Those attitudes are changing, but the speed of that change is not keeping pace with the speed of development of this technology.

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In Australia, we are comparatively very tolerant and open to exploratory technology, and particularly so in the life sciences, medical technology, biotech and pharmaceuticals industries.
World-leading companies such as CSL, Cochlear and ResMed bear testimony to this and demonstrate the country’s resourcefulness and capacity to repeatedly deliver world class medical solutions.
Our own experience at Osteopore has shown us just how significant the possibilities are.
As an Australian and Singaporean-based global leader in manufacturing innovative regenerative implants empowering natural tissue regeneration, Osteopore and several ASX-listed companies are working on regenerative solutions to address applications in repairing bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, nerves, soft tissue and skin damaged due to injury or disease.

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Like us, these companies find themselves in various stages of maturity on their pathway to commercialisation and expansion. We share the same vision as these companies (including Avita, PolyNovo and Mesoblast), with their recent market capitalisations ranging from comfortably over $500 million to just over a billion dollars.
The comparative value of other regenerative medical technology and life science companies indicates significant upside potential for the industry at large. At the heart of this opportunity is a single goal – improving outcomes for patients, many of whom have needs that are currently unmet.
But that’s not the sole goal. Regenerative technology also holds great potential to lower post-operative complication rates, contribute to lower healthcare costs and to support the efficient operation of medical facilities. These are significant and necessary improvements to the overall economic operation of the health system.
We collaborate with several renowned institutions with the same goals, including Singapore’s leading universities, NTU and NUS, and global companies – including DePuy Synthes, Medtronic, Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, B Braun and Arburg – to provide innovative solutions in terms of combinations for surgical application, materials used, and the manufacturing processes.
Australia is a ripe environment for the further valuable development of regenerative medical technologies. The next ResMed or Cochlear could be hiding amongst us. The global market is big enough to accommodate players operating in very similar spaces – and smaller companies in Australia may find it worthwhile to work in complementary rather than competitive ways.
The possibilities are there, and they are almost limitless in what regenerative technology may achieve.
If the Australian surgical and investor communities further embrace the life-changing potential of these technologies, the industry at large will likely undergo significant growth.

About the author: Dr Carl Runde (pictured above) is Chief Financial Officer of Osteopore. This is an opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of this publication.

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