NDSU’s Pharmaceutical Sciences research has produced Osteo-Fill, a treatment that could dramatically change the way health care providers tackle infections following joint replacement surgeries.

Osteo-Fill is a putty-like implant created through research completed by NDSU graduate student Raquib Hasan and his advisor.

“The main vision was my advisor’s,” Hasan said. “We did different experiments and we got very promising results.”

Hasan will be presenting on Osteo-Fill at 1 Million Cups Fargo on October 10.

“A lot of people are undergoing total joint replacement surgeries,” Hasan said.

Osteo-Fill deals with an issue common to treating joint replacement patients. A small percentage of these patients get infections following their surgeries and end up having to undergo revision operations. The infection rate following revision surgeries is much higher, Hasan said. The way these infections are fought is through implants that release antibiotics in the area of the infection. These implants are nonbiodegradable, which means they do not allow bone to grow back into the defect caused by infection, and they must be taken out by another operation.

Osteo-Fill differs from these implants in that it is putty-like—it fits into the bone defect where the infection is, and it also deals with the issue of removal surgery.

“It is bioegradable,” Hasan said. “It leaves space for the bone to grow.”

That means no further operation is necessary to take Osteo-Fill out.

Hasan formed a team with two other graduate students, Meredith Schroeder and Abbey Wohlers, to start the process of getting Osteo-Fill into the marketplace.

“The formation of the company came at the end of last year,” Hasan said.

They took part in NDSU’s Innovation Challenge and won. Hasan had taken another project into the Innovation Challenge in 2017, but chosen not to continue with it. Otherwise, Osteo-Fill is his first serious foray into entrepreneurship.

Hasan and the other collaborators have also spoken with a consulting firm to learn about FDA approval for Osteo-Fill, which is the biggest challenge any medical treatment has before entering the marketplace. Biologics Consulting Agency has suggested 510k pathway toward approval for Osteo-Fill, which is faster and cheaper—generally taking around three years, according to Hasan—than other routes.

The next step for Osteo-Fill is to conduct a large-animal study, which Hasan says requires greater funds and resources to complete than the small-animal study he and his team have already completed.

Raquib Hasan will present on Osteo-Fill at 1 Million Cups Fargo on October 10. For more information on Osteo-Fill, visit its website here. 1 Million Cups Fargo takes place each Wednesday from 9:15-10:15 a.m. at the Stage at Island Park.

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Austin Gerth