Magnesium Development Company (MDC) begins, like so many successful endeavors, with an unsolvable problem.
For MDC, the challenge was the need for a material for use in orthopedics that provided appropriate strength for the indication but did not interfere with imaging or required secondary procedures for hardware removal.
When faced with the technology behind MDC’s absorbable magnesium, it was clear to the Genesis Innovation Group team that absorbable magnesium technology could provide the solution to this widely understood challenge.
Absorbable magnesium technology provides an extremely rare mix of characteristics, which make it the perfect fit to solve this challenging problem:
- 4 elements common in multivitamins
- Controlled absorption rate through a favorable mechanism
- Superior strength consistent with other metals used in orthopedic indications
- Available in high volumes and effective cost structures
- Suitable for numerous orthopedic applications
- A history in medicine providing for predictable outcomes
The application of absorbable metals in medicine has been studied for over a century.
MDC and Genesis Innovation Group
Genesis Innovation Group formed MDC in 2015 for the execution of scientific research and development of devices in sports medicine procedures and reconstructive procedures in the foot and ankle.
Genesis Chairman and CEO Rob Ball has been aware of the concept of absorbable metals for over a decade.
Several types of resorbable materials have existed in orthopedics since the early 1990’s and have been used primarily in sports medicine indications.
But these resorbable materials come with several challenges.
The resorbable polymers do not offer the strength that metal orthopedic devices offer. Furthermore, the polymers, which are typically made of lactic acid, have a method of resorption which creates unfavorable reactions to surrounding tissue, causing native tissue not to grow around the device as it resorbs.
The currently available resorbable metal implants have problems as well.
It is difficult to control hydrogen production during resorption and it is often not possible to find alloys that have suitable mechanical properties for the indications.
When a company called nanoMAG approached Rob Ball and asked him if he’d be interested in helping them monetize their innovative technology, he was immediately intrigued.
This new technology was a specialty magnesium alloy developed for orthopedic and medical device applications.
This simple and elegant system produced unique properties that weren’t duplicated elsewhere. Remarkably, the substances they were mixing with magnesium to make the alloy are all found in your daily multivitamin.
This unique formula was being processed in a way that made for both an elongated and predictable resorption profile.
Through their patented alloying process, they were able to limit the production of hydrogen, which can be detrimental to surrounding tissue if not controlled. They found substitute resorption of the material at about 12 months, which is elongated enough for indications.
But most intriguing of all was the alloy’s strength.
The fact that this material has the same mechanical strength as 316L stainless steel, while at the same time being resorbable, makes it a true marvel of scientific advancement.
Rob became fascinated with the possibility the alloy had for a variety of orthopedic indications.
As Genesis considered how to assist nanoMAG in developing this technology, we decided the best way to move forward was to acquire a license and to form a company. So that’s what we did and MDC was born.
Genesis Innovation Group acquired a license for MDC for the application of the material technology.
The broad application base is foot and ankle reconstruction and soft tissue to bone fixation in the shoulder and the knee.
Genesis has exclusive rights to both those markets for an extended period of time and are seeking the development of devices in those two spaces for penetration in the US market.
Additionally, Genesis is the majority owner in MDC’s ideas and development.
The contractual relationship between MDC and Genesis specifies that Genesis is providing the operational expertise and the research and development for the technology.