Perth medical device startup raises $1.15 to commercialise new surgical screw

REX Ortho, a medical device company emerging from work by surgeons and engineers from Curtin University and St John of God Subiaco Hospital, has raised $1.15 million from private investors to help develop its first product.

According to a statement from Curtin, the capital will be used to help turn the removable, expandable titanium screw (the REX Screw) from an invention “into a real-world solution.” Additions to REX Ortho’s board were also named in the announcement.

“This exciting medical technology start-up will now be working to partner with a major global manufacturer, bringing the innovative product a step closer to market,” said the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran.

The expandable screw is designed to provide a superior fix, yet can be removed if necessary. According to those behind REX, One in ten complex hip surgeries end up with the patient returning to hospital due to a screw loosening.

“By expanding it, it increases the size of the screw at the tip, and this increases the resistance when the bone is trying to push the screw out,” explained co-founder Dr Matthew Oldakowski, research associate of the School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at Curtin University, elsewhere.

The new board members named are, “Dr Richard Hopkins, an experienced medical technology executive, Mr Lucas Kong, an experienced mechanical engineer, and Mr Russell Nicholls, an experienced IP management and licensing executive who is also Curtin’s Deputy Director of Commercialisation.”

Picture: Curtin University

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