An Australian investment company has resurrected the fortunes of Dunedin medical device company CG Surgical, providing nearly $900,000 over two years to complete development of it's surgical clip.
CG Surgical chairman Phil Broughton said the financing by Neumedix Health Group will fund the patent process, product development and a safety study of the titanium and Teflon spacer clip which is attached to the spine. In return, Neumedix will use CG Surgical's intellectual property and share in sale proceeds once the product is commercialized.
The clip, developed by Dunedin toolmaker Richard Cathro, is a spring mechanism inserted in the neck or lower back which stops bones pinching or putting pressure on the spinal cord and creating pain or discomfort.
The company claims that restoring the width of the cervical spinal cord, it can reduce headaches, neurological and nerve function problems.
A lack of funding saw the company slip from the business radar for several years, but Mr Broughton said the company would reemploy chief executive John Galvin to oversee the securing of patents, the safety study and complete development.
"We've been in abeyance for the last three years. We had a possible arrangement with a United States company which did not progress and then this Australian company came through a Wellington contact. We have done due diligence and we have the first round of funding."
Mr Broughton described Neumedix as an innovative Australian medical investment company with a variety of biotechnology investments. On it's website, Neumedix said existing tretement for canal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) was invasive with significant side effects, such as loss of motion.
Surgeons have recently been using a small plate designed for use in the jaw bone in spinal procedures, but it was complicated and reduced the opportunity of using other surgical techniques on the spine.
"The [CG Surgical] device makes the procedure safe and more simplified for the surgeon and a quicker recovery time with fewer complications for the patient," the company said on its website.
Work securing the patent, further development and safety trials would be done in Dunedin and possibly Australia, and if successful would meet US Drug and Food Administration requirements.
Previously, CG Surgical has said it was targeting the US where back pain was the second most common ailment, with $US1.1 billion, ($NZ1.5 billion) a year spent on treatment.
Japan was also a target market.
By Neal Wallace
Otago Daily times