The European Commission is awarding a €2.5 million grant to ATRO Medical for the accelerated development of their artificial meniscus. The Dutch startup is working on the first anatomical meniscus prostheses for patients with chronic knee pain. This groundbreaking healthcare innovation continues to attract international attention and move closer to actual implementation in healthcare.
The EIC Accelerator program is the European Commission’s main instrument for supporting promising healthcare innovations. The program aims to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations. The EIC Accelerator Grant also provides access to an investment from the EIC Fund, coordinated by the European Commission and used in particular to bridge the funding gap between market entry and scale-up.
The €2.5 million grant will be spent on accelerating preclinical testing of the meniscus prostheses, health economic analyses and international clinical studies. All efforts together will accelerate the implementation of this Dutch healthcare innovation. ATRO Medical is the first company in the world to have solutions for both inner and outer meniscus near the clinical stage.
Thousands of patients with chronic knee pain are waiting for these solutions. Their meniscus has been removed as a result of previous trauma and they have developed what is known as post-meniscectomy pain syndrome. Orthopedic surgeon and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony van Tienen explains: “In my clinical practice I see many patients with chronic knee pain. Most of them are too young for a total knee replacement. However, they want to be able to go to work, store or just walk their dog without being constantly bothered by a painful knee. Our artificial meniscus is designed to relieve that pain. Pain-free mobility is what we strive for.”
ATRO Medical has already received several international recognitions for their groundbreaking work, including the breakthrough device designation from the US FDA, Eurostars funding and an innovation award from Johnson & Johnson. Partly thanks to these awards, the company can focus on expanding clinical evidence in the coming years. This will allow the necessary market registration to be realized. There is great confidence that this will succeed together with partners such as the ReumaNederland, the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory of the Radboudumc and international clinics such as the Sint Maartenskliniek, Mayo Clinic and Sporthopaedicum Berlin.