Business Irish

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Irish-made bone repair technology saves horse

Laurence Mulvany owner of ’Annagh Haven’; Prof. Fergal O'Brien, Deputy Director of AMBER and Head of the Tissue Engineering Research Group in RCSI and Minister for skills Damien English T.D. Picture: Naoise Culhane
Laurence Mulvany owner of ’Annagh Haven’; Prof. Fergal O'Brien, Deputy Director of AMBER and Head of the Tissue Engineering Research Group in RCSI and Minister for skills Damien English T.D. Picture: Naoise Culhane

Brian Byrne

A winning racehorse has cheated death thanks to a new bone repair technology developed by Irish scientists.

Two-year-old filly Annagh Haven was facing euthanisation due to a cyst in her jaw, which meant she was unable to chew properly and her jaw bone was at risk of fracturing.

But she has now won or placed in six races following the first clinical use of a bone graft substitute developed at AMBER, a research centre funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

The patented technology, called HydroxyColl, allowed for repair of the bone tissue, followed by restoration of normal bone shape and function.

It consists of native bone components to which bone cells and blood vessels 'cling', allowing for tissue regeneration. It is planned that the technology will now be brought to market by SurgaColl Technologies, a spin-out company from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), which hopes to get approval for human use.

Minister for Skills Damien English said: "It has been a very successful first year for AMBER; this exciting technology is another example that shows that Irish research is at the leading edge of material science worldwide.

"Material science underpins a wide range of market opportunities that have the greatest potential to deliver economic return through enterprise development and employment growth in Ireland.

"I congratulate Professor Fergal O'Brien, his team and collaborators."

Irish Independent

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