Evonik invests in leg-lengthening technology using PEEK-based implant


As part of its commitment to support startup companies with innovative technologies that solve problems in healthcare, among other self-identified megatrends, Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) has invested in Synoste Oy (Helsinki) via its venture capital arm. The investment gives Evonik a minority share in the medtech startup, which has developed an implant for the minimally invasive treatment to lengthen a leg that is shorter than the other. The investment was made as part of a series A round, together with High-Tech Gründerfonds, a public-private German partnership that provides seed financing; two Finnish venture capital funds Finnvera and Lifeline Ventures; as well as Finnish business angels. Total financing is in the single-digit million euro range, according to Evonik.

Founded in 2012, Synoste is a spin-off from Aalto University in Espoo (Finland). Together with Orton, a Helsinki-based hospital specialized in orthopedics, Synoste has developed a high-tech implant made from Evonik's Vestakeep PEEK polymer to treat leg-length discrepancy, which can lead to chronic back pain and osteoarthritis. The technology gently lengthens the bone over a period of several months, reportedly reducing pain and lowering risk for patients compared with conventional methods.

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