Askel Healthcare was founded in March 2017 by the group of scientists behind the invention. The company’s team notably has a strong scientific background in orthopedics, cell biology, materials science, and veterinary medicine, all skills necessary in this multidisciplinary field. The co-founders, CEO Virpi Muhonen and CTO Anne-Marie Haaparanta, both have a Ph.D. and together over twenty years of academic research experience. They have dedicated the last few years to gathering the needed specialists to bring this innovation to the hands of orthopedic surgeons so they can provide the best possible care for their patients. According to the company:
“Cartilage-related problems are the most frequently encountered problems orthopedic surgeons face in their practice. In spite of the prevalence of the problem, there are no treatments available for restoring and maintaining the original functionality of the tissue. Whatever the cause, the result of cartilage destruction is consistently the same, i.e. pain and lameness, adversely affecting the lifestyle and activity levels of the afflicted. Orthopaedic surgeons lack a method to repair cartilage damage early, i.e. when the lesion is still small. Therefore, the condition gets worse and often the end result is osteoarthritis – and the only treatment a joint prosthesis.”
Askel explained that the COPLA Scaffold has been developed to treat this challenging medical problem to heal the unhealable cartilage. Muhonen stated:
“We do not aim just to treat the symptoms created by these cartilage defects; we go a step further and provide truly regenerative solutions for the long-term benefit of the patients.”
The company also shared that behind the COPLA Scaffold are years of academic research. The implant has been developed to work in the specific physiological conditions of weight-bearing joints and it adapts to the cyclic and static loading of the joint and creates a correct microenvironment for cartilage regeneration. One of the benefits of the COPLA Scaffold is that the patient can start using the joint immediately after the surgery. The scaffold slowly degrades over time while new cartilage is regenerated. The COPLA Scaffold can be used in different cartilage locations and in different species, including humans. In the beginning, the COPLA Scaffold is only available for veterinary patients, especially dogs and horses, but the company aims to provide the treatment to humans in the near future.
“Askel Healthcare’s team embodies the strengths vital to entrepreneurs: determination and perseverance. After years of research, the research team has moved their sights to commercializing their innovation. We are proud to be part of this equity offering that will help Askel Healthcare grow into a real success story.”
Since its launch, Askel’s campaign has successfully secured more than €150,000. It is set to close on October 2nd.
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