Sheffield biomedical specialists aiding patients around the globe

Wayne Austin of Hillsborough company Ceramysis
Wayne Austin of Hillsborough company Ceramysis
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A world-class Sheffield biomedical company that makes artificial bone used by surgeons around the globe is booming.

Ceramisys manufactures ReproBone, a synthetic bone graft material which is used in complex orthopaedic and dental surgery.

The product is used instead of, or to supplement, a patient’s own bone on every continent in the world.

In the last months the company has taken on distributors in five new countries and this year’s turnover is expected to exceed £1m.

Last year Ceramisys, founded in 2001 by former Sheffield University chemistry graduate Wayne Austin, moved to a purpose-built facility in Hillsborough, where it is carrying out new product research and looking to take on more staff.

The expansion is being backed by Creative Sheffield, which has helped the firm build relationships with leading surgeons, giving the company more standing in the medical device market.

ReproBone, which comes in block, granular or paste form, is coming into its own when surgeons are dealing with non-healing fractures, defects caused by the removal of bone tumours, revision hip replacements and deformities. The material helps regenerate the bone and within a few months it is broken down and replaced by new, healthy bone.

Wayne Austin said: “The main advantages are that patients don’t need to have a second operation for surgeons to collect bone to fill the defect, so it takes away risk and trauma. From the surgeon’s point of view it is easy to use and available in unlimited quantities.”

He added: “One of the barriers to growth we initially encountered was gaining the confidence of healthcare providers across the world.

“Being recognised by opinion leaders in the orthopaedic and dental fields is extremely important in order to compete with the big multi-nationals and increase our global market share.”

Creative Sheffield is Sheffield City Council’s economic development function.