Accelerace invests in solution to plaster cast limitations: EXO360
For almost 200 years, plaster cast has been the best method for non-surgery fracture treatment. However, it comes with serious limitations, that new Accelerace-portfolio company EXO360 is working on solving with the Exocast.
“There is a clear value for hospitals here, with the potential of saving money and manpower, not to speak of the physical pain of patients. Exo360 work for better treatment and that is something we want to invest in” – David Ventzel, partner & fund manager, Accelerace.
Plaster cast has been a fantastic, if still problematic, servant.
In 1851, the dutch military surgeon Antonius Mathijsen innovated a technique that was previously tried but failed. He used plaster of Paris, previously used as a building material, to hold broken bones in place as they healed. This technique was first widely used during the Crimean war from 1853-56.
The plaster cast has been a fantastic servant, and even though much has happened in the realm of surgical advancements, not much has happened in this non-surgical treatment since its inception. Unfortunately, it comes with a problem:
A freshly broken limb swells up, and this is when the plaster cast is applied. But, as part of the healing process, the swelling also goes down again. When that happens and the static cast doesn’t follow the limb, it is no longer stabile inside the cast. In 35 % of cases of wrist fractures, this means reinjury and surgery.
But Exo360 has developed the Exocast, which follows the limb as swelling goes down.
Founder Mads Terndrup needed a team.
Founder Mads Terndrup had spent time in emergency rooms and had broken his own elbow, which made him realise the lack in non-invasive fixators. The value of a non-invasive fixators is significant in high income countries, but in middle- and lower income countries it would be a real game changer because of the lower access to surgery. But in order to create that game changer, Mads needed help.
“I knew I wanted to fix the problem, I just didn’t know how. And more importantly I couldn’t communicate my vision. And that is when Michael joined the journey” – Mads Terndrup, founder and CEO.
Michael Rosenfeldt became co-founder and COO, and helped flesh out the communication around what they were trying to do, which then attracted a lot of talent to the team.
Developments in metamaterials makes it possible.
To be able to create a solution that can follow the limb and still hold it in place, the team looked at metamaterials and 3D printing, where they found the answer. Their unique technology, which allows swelling to subside and still hold the necessary pressure on the limb, can be created with metamaterials and 3D printing, making it much easier to produce.
“The Exocast is always going to maintain perfect fit. It is going to be faster than plaster to apply, for one health care provider, and it is breathable and washable” – Mads Terndrup, founder and CEO.
The team at Exo360 aims to have an Exocast on a patient within 12 months. In order to test out all these metamaterials and making sure that they will be ready to be applied to human patients, they have created bone breakers to induce fractures in cadaveric speciments, stress benches, 3D anatomical replicas of wrists as well as testing many different types of metamaterials.
“With the investment from Accelerace, we have the ressources to accelerate our research, and crucially, expand our team” – Mads Terndrup, founder and CEO.
We can’t wait to follow their journey and help them on their way to better fracture treatment.