"Backed by a body of scientific research and a leadership team with over 10 years of experience in orthopedics, Hyalex is poised to develop an innovative approach to treat osteoarthritis (OA) by replacing cartilage in joint surgery," said Wende Hutton, general partner for Canaan Partners and a newly-appointed board member for Hyalex. "While joint replacement surgery is a viable option for many patients experiencing joint degeneration, younger patients may encounter some limitations in mobility and face future joint revisions. A less invasive approach to treat osteoarthritis has significant potential and is needed to help these patients live full, active lives."
Incorporating technology licensed from Stanford University, Hyalex has developed a breakthrough synthetic biomaterial with properties that mimic the structure and function of the hyaline cartilage that lines articulating joints, such as the hip, knee, shoulder, and ankle. "The technology offers the ability to maintain an extremely low wear profile even at high loads," said Lampros Kourtis, Ph.D., Hyalex's co-founder and chief technology officer. "Our vision is to leverage HYALEX's unique mechanical, friction, and wear properties to replace arthritic cartilage while sparing healthy bone."
Concurrent with the financing, Mira Sahney was appointed president and CEO of Hyalex Orthopaedics. In addition to Hutton, Bill Harrington, managing partner of Osage University Partners and Renee Ryan, vice president, venture investments, JJDC will join Hyalex's board of directors.
Mira Sahney has over 20 years of diversified global corporate experience including leadership of sales, marketing and R&D organizations. Prior to joining Hyalex, Sahney served as senior vice president and general manager at Smith & Nephew where she led the growth and sale of the gynecology division to Medtronic for $350 million and the turnaround of the ENT division.
"The HYALEX polymer has the potential to replace damaged cartilage in joints, creating the opportunity for a less invasive, more anatomic solution in disease states such as osteoarthritis or cartilage injuries," said Sahney. "We are seeking to use this technology to improve standard of care for the approximate three million joint replacement procedures annually worldwide, particularly for younger patients who seek long active lives following their surgeries."