Dr. Marvin Schwartz is a maxillofacial surgeon who has seen his share of arthritic joint problems.
"You could say this is many years in the making," he says of his company, 4iBIO
, which is conducting clinical trials now on an artificial joint implant
it hopes to make available for animal use this year.
"Helping humans is down the road," he says, noting that regulatory approvals are much more difficult for the human medical market than for the veterinary one. "The process is set. I have an American patent and other patents to follow. We've finished clinical trials on sheep hips, we're just finishing a clinical trial on dogs, and we have the intention of going to the veterinary market in about six months," he says.
The current dog trials are being conducted at the University of Guelph, with 50 per cent of the funding coming from the federal government
(and the other half coming from 4iBIO). Schwartz says that he is seeking about $1.5 million now to set up a manufacturing facility in the GTA that will receive imaging data—such as CT scans—from doctors anywhere in the world and create a custom-made prosthesis for the patient using 3D modelling. For the trials, the company's three principals have been contracting out the manufacturing work, but expect to hire about three staff for the new plant when it opens.
Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Dr. Marvin Schwartz, CEO, 4iBIO