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Bone-builder expands abroad

Medical productsMedicine

A Hong Kong biotech firm established solid overseas connections through HKTDC’s pavilion at a leading German fair.


Generating bespoke bone components – anything from a skull plate to part of a load-bearing arm bone – on a 3D printer might seem far-fetched, but that is just what Hong Kong biomaterials pioneer NOVUS Life Sciences does.

Its Bonlecule filament serves as a 3D printer fused deposition material (FDM), supplying the structural material for printing bone grafts. Within a matter of days after the mineral polymer structure is implanted, the patient’s cells proliferate in the material, making it part of the existing skeleton.

NOVUS can reach potential clients worldwide through its website, generating 3D bone structures in its Hong Kong plant based on specifications submitted by clients and flying them to the client, ready for surgery.

Seeking to grow its global footprint, NOVUS was an exhibitor at the Hong Kong Pavilion at MEDICA last year, a massive B2B medical fair held every November in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) arranges a pavilion at the fair, providing Hong Kong innovators a platform to access the global market.

Dr Wilson Wong, CEO and Founder of NOVUS, generated a number of leads at the show and closed a major deal with the Industrial Orthopedic Company from Saudi Arabia, their first foray into the Middle Eastern country. NOVUS will supply the Saudi firm essential materials for orthopaedic 3D printing.

 The Industrial Orthopedic Company produces generic screws and pins for bone surgery, but was seeking to produce implants sized and shaped for individual patients, known as patient specific implants (PSI), and turned to NOVUS.

Dr Wong said that, as a biomaterial supplier, they will assist the Industrial Orthopedic Company and provide the required safety certificates for them to register their final 3D printed end products under their health authority.”

NOVUS is also in discussion with a number of firms in Latin America, a rapidly growing market. Many prospective clients from Latin America visited the MEDICA event in Germany.

The firm is moving beyond bone implants and into plastic surgery, working with a company in Jordan that partners with King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center, which is developing a new 3D printing biomaterial for breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

NOVUS is also working with an Israeli company in developing a 3D printing biomaterial for dental applications.

They have research facilities in both Hong Kong and neighbouring Shenzhen. Dr Wong said most of the deep technology research is carried out in Hong Kong, while the Shenzhen facilities carry out product optimisation.

He said Hong Kong was the ideal place for NOVUS, as it serves as a gateway to Mainland China. The city was also ideal for raising capital.

“We are able to connect with VCs from every part of the world, and the process is facilitated by Hong Kong’s mature financial and legal system.” 

NOVUS products are not just for humans. In 2017, the firm began working with City University’s Peace Avenue Veterinary Clinic to develop implants for small animals. They also work with Ocean Park to develop implants for marine creatures, such as green turtles from the South China Sea.

HKTDC’s anchor healthcare event,Asia Summit on Global Health (ASGH), returns on 16-17 May and the HKTDCHong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fairon 16-18 May, which form part of International Healthcare Week 2024.

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