Graftys and its bone ‘cements’

June 25th 2019

After recently raising its capital, Graftys will be able to expand its commercial activities and develop its range of synthetic bone cements. An interview with Enrico Bastianelli, the CEO of this Belgian-French company.

What are the characteristics of the synthetic bone ‘cements’ that Graftys?has on the market?

Enrico Bastianelli: ‘Our flagship products come in the form of calcium phosphate powder. When mixed with the appropriate “hardener”, the powder acts as cement to fill bone voids. It has a number of benefits for orthopaedic surgeons:
  • The cement is absorbed and replaced in a few months by the patient’s own bone tissue.
  • It is ergonomic, convenient, and can be applied quickly. The cement is sold as a syringe with two compartments, so that the powder and liquid can be mixed directly. The cement can then be applied and formed into the desired shape.
  • The product’s shelf life is 4 years.
  • As class-3 medical devices, they meet the most rigorous safety standards.’

A few months ago, you raised 4.1 million euros from Belgian and French investors. How will you use the funds?

‘We will now be able to reorganise our production, reinforce our staff(1), and develop our business and research activities. Our goal is also to be financially independent in three or four years.
Part of our production processes will stay in Aix-en-Provence, but filling the syringes—which we currently contract out—will be done in our Liège facility. As for the Biopark, it hosts our administrative offices as well as our teams in charge of marketing, regulatory, and clinical activities.
We would also like to increase our presence on the European and American markets, and to start distributing our products in Asia.’

What are your plans in terms of R&D?

‘Innovation is at the heart of our development projects. We are currently working on improving and diversifying our existing range of products. Our next goal will be to develop ‘soft’ cements that, in addition to being less sensitive to friction and shearing, improve bone regeneration. This is why we are working in close collaboration with the University of Nantes’ CEISAM laboratory, France’s number 1 centre of molecular chemistry.’

What made you choose the Biopark?

‘I know the place very well, from having worked there for many years(2). The Biopark has great infrastructures, and an ecosystem that makes it easy for us to recruit the talented people we need for our development. The Walloon region’s support is also essential to us. In addition, we are open to academic, clinical, and business partnerships, and the Biopark is an ideal place to find the right partners.’

(1) Graftys currently has some twenty employees. By the end of this year, this number should reach 35.
(2) Enrico Bastianelli was CEO of Bone Therapeutics, and is currently CEO of Theravet (formerly BoneVet).