Celebrating Science with Tetratherix
When in 2009 Dr Ali Fathi was told his broken wrist would require surgery, he asked his surgeon whether instead of going under the knife if there was a glue that could hold his fracture in place allowing it to heal naturally. He couldn’t believe the answer was no. Ali decided to invent it and his wonder gel, Tetramatrix, could make open surgery a thing of the past.
Source: A) Robotic Hand. Impact of the Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program. B) Dr Ali Fathi. Impact of the Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program.
Developed during his PhD in chemical and biomechanical engineering at the University of Sydney, Tetramatrix, is a liquid at low temperatures, making it easy to inject with high precision during surgery. Once at body temperature, the gel hardens to provide mechanical support and a physical scaffold for host cells to repair tissues. It’s non-toxic and totally absorbable and its impact goes well beyond repairing broken bones, it also regenerates cartilage and connective tissue.
“With TetraMatrix, you simply make an incision of a few centimetres and inject it into the site. It’s minimally invasive, there is no open surgery and no complications, and recovery is shortened” Ali said. “It also reduces the cost of surgery and requires no specialised preparation, it takes away the economic and accessibility barriers that many countries face,” he added.
Tetratherix, the company he founded to commercialise Tetramatrix, has continued to grow a robust IP portfolio that involves multiple granted patents in all major markets and established its own ISO-accredited sterile production facility in Sydney.
In the seed round, Tetratherix secured more than $3.4 million of funding from private and public sources, including $0.7m from Accelerating Commercialisation program funded by Commonwealth in 2017 and $1 million from the NSW Medical Device Fund in 2018.
In March 2020 Tetratherix closed a $5m Series A funding round, backed by Ryder Innovation Fund, a venture capital limited partnership specialising in medtech and tech opportunities. In October 2020, Tetratherix executed a co-development licensing agreement with a leading pharmaceutical company in China to develop drug/device combination products, using Tetratmatrix to access the Asian market.