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Catapult and Mercia Invest into 'Cutting Edge' Intelligent Orthopaedics

9 March 2011

Catapult and Mercia Invest into 'Cutting Edge' Intelligent Orthopaedics

Catapult Venture Managers and Mercia Fund Management (Mercia) have made an investment of £600k into a Staffordshire-based company whose products retail globally and are at the cutting-edge of repairing broken bones.

Already a significant investor, the Mercia Fund has followed up with a further £250k in this funding round, whilst the Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund, managed by Catapult, has invested £350k.

Intelligent Orthopaedics Ltd (IO) specialise in the design, development, manufacture and distribution of orthopaedic trauma devices. Its core product “STORM” (Staffordshire Orthopaedic Reduction Machine) is a reusable device that is used to realign fractures of the tibia prior to surgical fixation, which has already proved successful in clinical practice across the world.

Dr. Mark Payton, Mercia Fund Principal, commented: “IO’s founders and management have produced a suite of proprietary products positioned on the market on a global basis. IO typifies a Mercia Fund portfolio company; a scaleable product base derived from world-leading expertise with a global opportunity.  This investment will accelerate IO’s product roll out and provide the capital to now put IO on the map.”      

IO started as a successful collaboration between Staffordshire and Keele Universities and the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. The team now includes Professor Peter Thomas (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon), Professor Peter Ogrodnik (CTO and Professor of Engineering Design at Staffs University), Susan Hartman (CEO ex Summit, Graseby and Convatec) and Alistair Taylor (Chairman ex Pfizer, HowMedica, BioCompatibles).

Catapult Director Graham Mold commented: “The products developed by Intelligent Orthopaedics are already used in over 30 hospitals in the USA, Europe and the UK and the devices have CE marking and FDA clearance in the US.

“The money from this funding round is to be primarily used as working capital to enable the company to establish a sales team which will focus on developing the US and German markets.

“The company has an excellent management team led by  CEO Susan Hartman having over 25 years experience in medical devices from wound care to infusion devices and orthopaedics, and Chairman Alistair Taylor who ran Pfizer/Howmedica’s orthopaedic business as President of Howmedica’s Southern Europe  Orthopaedics Division based out of Geneva.”

Susan Hartman commented: “All of us at Intelligent Orthopaedics are delighted to have secured this investment from Catapult and our long-standing partner the Mercia Fund.   Since spinning out, IO has launched three products for the treatment of unstable fractures of the tibia (shin bone) and we have customers in the USA and other European countries as well as the UK. 

“This investment will allow us to expand our presence in two key target markets, the USA and Germany by building on our initial success with key opinion leaders to establish the IO method of treating these difficult fractures as the ‘standard’.  In addition, the funding will allow us to accelerate our product development programme and we anticipate at least two new product launches in the next twelve months.”

Graham Mold concluded: “The company’s intention is to establish the ‘STORM’ method as the standard for re-aligning displaced fractures of the shin bone.”

Catapult was advised by Jon Gill, of Eversheds, who commented: “This transaction is a great example of the local venture capital community working together to enable Midlands-developed intellectual property to achieve its commercial potential in a global market.”