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Poltiss to change hernia treatment – YouNick Mint’s new investment

Injectable material, which turns into a flexible patch under UV light, can revolutionise the current approach to soft tissue reconstruction surgeries, in particular in hernia treatment.

Hernia is caused by an abnormal shift of internal organs (e.g. intestines) outside the abdominal cavity. Its form varies, but the most frequent one is inguinal hernia – it affects 30% of men. Hernia is caused, among others, by the weakening of abdominal integuments due to collagen loss with age, and lack of exercise, obesity or hard physical work.

There are about 40 thousand hernia surgeries per annum in Poland. In the United States and the European Union, there are over 2 million surgeries per annum. This is a serious condition which, if untreated, may cause numerous complications and even death. The golden standard for hernia treatment at present is the so-called Lichtenstein’s method. Although it revolutionised hernia treatment, it has a number of disadvantages: it is invasive, thus making patients’ surgery and convalescence last longer, and it entails the risk of complications due to a polypropylene mesh introduced into the abdominal cavity and left there for many years.

A new and innovative hernia treatment method is currently being developed. Prof. dr hab. inż. Mirosława El Fray,West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, developed an innovative hernia treatment technology involving injectable and biodegradable biomaterial.

Our PhotoBioCure™ technology consists in injecting viscous liquid and spreading it over hernia – the liquid takes flexible form under UV light and overgrows with soft tissue over time to eventually biodegrade in the body –explains prof. dr hab. inż. Mirosława El Fray, Originator and CEO of Poltiss, Director of the Centre for Nanotechnology Research and Education, and the Polymer Institute at the West Pomeranian University of Technology.

Such an approach to hernia treatment is a real breakthrough compared to traditional synthetic meshes. Semi-fluid biomaterial has a number of benefits related to treatment effectiveness: it shortens its duration, it is safer and more comfortable for patients, it facilitates and shortens their convalescence.

The YouNick Mint investment fund invested PLN 2 million in Poltiss developing the PhotoBioCure™ technology. The investment was co-financed by the National Centre for Research and Development as part of the Bridge Alfa programme. In addition to financing, the fund’s life science portfolio companies can obtain support for the development of technology, regulatory strategy, preclinical and clinical research projects.

The investment in Poltiss will allow us to carry out necessary R&D work to demonstrate the effectiveness and security of the PhotoBioCure™ solution. The next stages involve launching the product certification and marketing procedure says Tomasz Łasecki, co-founder of Poltiss sp. z o.o.

The solution is patented in the United States and in Poland and reported for protection in Europe. The PhotoBioCure™ technology has potential to be widely used in the regeneration of soft tissues – abdominal integuments, abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery, plastic surgery or hand orthopaedics. The solution is of interest to international companies and concerns manufacturing medical products.

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