DALLAS, TX – VIC Technology Venture Development, LLC (VIC) has announced that it has formed Solenic Medical, Inc. The company was established to develop and commercialize a method for treating prosthetic joint infection (PJI) based on technology exclusively licensed from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). The patent-pending technology offers an approach for the eradication of biofilm from metallic implants. Advantages include non-invasive treatment of PJI through selective targeting of biofilms.
James Y. Lancaster, Managing Director of VIC’s Texas Branch, is serving as interim CEO of Solenic Medical. Mr. Lancaster provides management expertise in the areas of business development, technology commercialization, team formation, and corporate strategic planning. He will also oversee the development and execution of key commercial milestones, funding, and, ultimately, the recruitment of a permanent CEO for the company.
“This is an exciting technology that solves a huge problem in the fast-growing field of medical implants where humans are living longer lives,” said Mr. Lancaster. “Driven both by the growing population and patients’ desires to maintain an active lifestyle, there is a huge need to provide solutions to prosthetic joint infections that risk the success of increasingly common surgical procedures.”
Each year in the United States, over 1 million total knee and hip replacements are performed, and these operations are projected to increase by 637% and 174% respectively by the year 2030. Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is one of the most serious complications in the field of arthroplasty. Currently, treatment of PJI can involve a two-stage revision requiring two additional surgeries and weeks of antibiotic treatment. While effective, it is associated with a significant negative impact on a patient’s quality of life, and is very expensive. The projected total annual cost to treat patients with PJIs in the U.S. in 2020 is a staggering $1.6 billion, representing a major cost to the healthcare system.
A major impediment to effective treatment of PJI is the presence of biofilm, a thin film produced by bacteria that forms a protective shield around the joint and impairs the effectiveness of both antibiotics and the immune response system. Biofilm is associated with infections of many widely used medical implants such as catheters, mechanical heart valves, intrauterine devices, and prosthetic joints. The inability to eradicate biofilm is the primary reason for surgical replacement of an implant being the standard care practice for PJI.
The Greenberg and Chopra laboratories at UTSW discovered a novel method for treating PJI that is completely non-invasive and selective to biofilms. The method utilizes alternating magnetic fields (AMF) to achieve temperatures on the surface of metal implants sufficient to disrupt biofilm and kill bacteria.
“We believe that a non-invasive approach utilizing AMF either alone or in concert with antibiotics could prevent multiple surgeries and allow the patient to keep their original implant. This could have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life as well as provide a significant cost savings to the health care system,” says Dr. Greenberg, an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology at UT Southwestern and a co-founder of Solenic Medical and co-inventor on the underlying technology.
Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Chopra are unpaid consultants who own Founder’s Stock in Solenic Medical, Inc. UT Southwestern Medical Center owns Licensor’s stock in Solenic Medical Inc.