The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron has created its first company.
The company, APTO Orthopaedics, has developed a device designed to help children who need spinal implants because of spinal deformities. They typically must endure surgery once or twice a year so that doctors can lengthen their implants as they grow.
APTO’s product would use a rotating magnet to turn a screw, eliminating the need for surgery.
The company was founded by Dr. Steve Fening, director of orthopaedic devices for Austen, and Dr. Todd Ritzman of Akron Children’s Hospital. In addition to Akron Children’s, the other institutions that comprise Austen are Akron General Hospital, Summa Health System, the University of Akron and the Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Austen’s Medical Device Development Center started helping them develop the technology in late 2010, and within a year a preliminary patent was filed.
The company is “a perfect example of how the ABIA process is meant to work,” said Thom Olmstead, director of technology assessment and business development at the Medical Device Development Center. “ABIA was created to bring the cutting-edge knowledge and resources of Akron institutions together to accelerate the commercialization of great ideas, and to create new ventures for the Akron economy.”