The founders of Mimetis Biomaterials joke that the field in which the company worksSuddenly, it worries those who do not know anything about this world: biomimetic synthetic bone regeneration.
Although in the end, fortunately, it is better understood. “Synthetic because the material that we graft onto the patient is not bone of animal origin; and biomimetics because, to produce this material, we replicate as much as possible the way bone is generated in nature ”, says Ana Chinea, biomedical engineer and CEO of the company.
Chinea joined in 2017 a project launched in 2013 by four researchers from the biomaterials area of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, among them the expert in bone regeneration María Pau, president of the company, and David Pastornino, who accompanies Chinea in the video call.
In 2015, the company launched its first product, calcium phosphate-based granules that, after being hydrated by the surgeon, are injected into the patient.
“It is a product that avoids the disadvantages linked to the use of human or animal bone, such as the eventual transmission of diseases, and that improves current synthetics”, Pastornino argues. Mimetis sells to the dental sector, which uses its product to regenerate the gum bone before performing implants , and to the orthopedic.
Its business model is based on closing contracts with distributors. “We do not have a direct sales force,” Chinea concedes, but that does not prevent 50% of their income from being obtained through their own channels, since part of the company’s 16 investors are also clients.
Although they sell more to surgeons in the dental sector, the higher volumes demanded by orthopedic professionals mean that these contracts represent most of the 120,000 euros that they billed in 2019. At the moment they lack profits.
Mimetis has nine employees and has its small factory in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona). They started the year by launching a second product on the market – customized solutions based on the patient’s medical image and printed in 3D – but the coronavirus has left them “almost without activity,” Chinea concedes.
“The sectors we work for went into shock and we were especially hit by not carrying out emergency interventions, since regeneration comes after a first stage of containment,” he explains.
The company has been financed thanks to 2.5 million public grants and one million private investment.
They are helped by resisting the loss of income by “an exclusive distribution agreement” signed with Nobel Biocare, one of the main distributors in the dental sector, explains Pastorino. Your next step is to reach a similar pre-agreement in the orthopedic market.