SCRA MUSC Innovation Center, Charleston, welcomes new tenant Restorative Physiology Group

SCRA Press Release
October 12, 2010

SCRA, a global leader in applied research and commercialization, announced today that Restorative Physiology Group is the latest tenant to move into the SCRA MUSC Innovation Center, Charleston, at 645 Meeting Street since the facility opened in December, 2009.

Restorative Physiology, an SC Launch company, develops orthopedic implants and methods for “least invasive” deployment of these devices to treat patients with common spine disease. The ThermaCage™ family of spinal fusion cage products can be placed through a small diameter, flexible catheter while achieving clinical outcomes equivalent to current gold standard devices that require significantly larger, straight access pathways. The Principals of the Restorative Physiology Group management team are Michael S. Kitchen, MD and Rebecca Delegge, MS BioE, both inventors of the technology.

Restorative Physiology Group’s work with minimally invasive orthopedic implants has entered a more advanced phase of development where controlled laboratory conditions are required for demonstration of their devices at human body temperatures. “The SCRA MUSC Innovation Center has been able to provide us with a facility where current experimentation can be conducted in lab space easily adapted to our needs,” said Dr. Kitchen. “The Innovation Center, with its shared common areas and facilities including conference rooms, atrium space, and a shared support lab, provides far more direct support than a generic facility could. This direct capability enables Restorative Physiology Group to be highly productive at the bench. Also, the close proximity to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) allows Restorative Physiology to foster established relationships with MUSC faculty and staff as we continue to develop our implants and surgical implantation systems toward human use.”

Restorative Physiology Group has developed an innovative patented method amenable for minimally invasive surgical placement of orthopedic implants. This technology is based upon temperature dependent transition between physical states that certain metal alloys can undergo. The ThermalMethod™ provides for an implant in a relatively cold malleable state prior to placement, movement through a catheter in this state, and upon heating at the catheter tip shape transition into a rigid orthopedic spine implant. Current work at the SCRA MUSC Innovation Center is focused on testing of implants in artificially controlled temperature simulation chambers using actively chilled deployment cannula and catheter systems. Next generation prototypes will focus on composite structures with biologically active materials selected to promote bone fusion.

“SC Launch, along with our partners across the state, is pleased to welcome Restorative Physiology to the SCRA MUSC Innovation Center,” said Dave McNamara, SC Launch Executive Director. “Restorative Physiology further strengthens the growing bio-med industry in South Carolina.”

The SCRA MUSC Charleston Innovation Center, a fully-renovated facility, attracts and supports start-up companies with wet lab and equipment space, in concert with entrepreneurs whose research was formed at the MUSC, as well as commercial entities. With this collaboration, SCRA is fulfilling legislative mandates identified in the Innovation Centers Act focused on the commercialization of new knowledge-based health care discoveries.

Also located in the new SCRA MUSC Innovation Center are start-up companies created from technology formed at MUSC: Immunologix, Microbial Fuel Cell Technologies, Neurological Testing Services and Vortex Biotechnology Corporation. Iverson Genetics, Inc., whose intellectual property developed in the general bio market place, has also located its offices in the SCRA MUSC Innovation Center.

Now in its fifth year of operation, SC Launch has assisted, helped form and/or land more than 230 knowledge-based start-up entities in South Carolina, providing both funding and services to more than 180. The top 40 companies in the program have attracted more than $104 million in add-on, private equity investment in South Carolina. SC Launch is one of over 100 programs in SCRA’s overall operations, which have made a cumulative economic contribution of more than $13.7B to South Carolina since 1983.

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