News & Media
Nijmegen, June 8th 2022
The European Commission grants € 2.5 million to ATRO Medical for the accelerated development of their artificial meniscus. The Dutch startup works on the first anatomical meniscus prostheses for patients with chronic knee pain. Their ground-breaking innovation continues to attract international attention, paving the way towards full-scale healthcare implementation.
The EIC Accelerator program is the most important instrument of the European Commission to support promising healthcare innovations. The program aims to develop and scale up game changing innovations. The EIC Accelerator grant provides access to an investment by the EIC Fund, coordinated by the European Commission and particularly used to bridge the funding gap between market entry and scale up.
The € 2.5 million grant will be spent on accelerating pre-clinical testing of the meniscus prostheses, on health economic analyses and international clinical studies. All efforts combined will fast-track the implementation of this Dutch healthcare innovation. ATRO Medical is the first company worldwide to have solutions for both the inner and outer meniscus close to the clinical stage.
Thousands of patients suffering from chronic knee pain are waiting for these solutions. Their meniscus has been removed as a result of an earlier trauma and they have developed the so-called post-meniscectomy pain syndrome. Orthopedic surgeon and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony van Tienen explains, “I see many patients with chronic knee pain in my clinical practice. Most of them are too young for a total knee replacement. However, they should be able to go to work, go shopping or simply walk their dog without constantly being bothered by an aching knee. Our artificial meniscus aims to relieve that pain. Pain free mobility, that is what we strive for.”
ATRO Medical has already received several international recognitions for their thought-leading work like FDA breakthrough device designation, Eurostars funding and the Johnson & Johnson Quickfire award. In the next few years, the company will leverage these endorsements and funds to significantly expand their clinical evidence and achieve market registration. Together with partners like the Dutch Arthritis Foundation, the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and international clinics such as the Sint Maartenskliniek, Mayo Clinic and Sporthopaedicum Berlin they are confident to succeed.
Nijmegen, 12 May 2022
Yess!! ATRO Medical has been named an Awardee in the Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge organized by Johnson & Johnson Innovation!
What a great recognition for our team of the potential benefit that our meniscus prosthesis may have for Veterans. The incidence of knee osteoarthritis is known to be 10 times higher under military personnel compared to civilians. This is highly correlated to meniscus damage. And almost 20% of those who need surgical meniscus repair will leave the army within 2.5 years1.
We would be honored if our Trammpolin® Meniscus Prosthesis could play a part in providing pain relief for these veterans. Besides the recognition, this award comes with grant funding, which will be spent on accelerating the development of the lateral meniscus prosthesis.
The lateral (outside) compartment of the knee joint is known for its’ fast cartilage degradation in a meniscus-deficient knee2. It is of utmost importance to provide an early surgical solution for this lateral side since the severity of complaints and disease related health costs increase with ongoing cartilage degradation3.
The Dutch startup ATRO Medical is entirely focused on creating a durable solution for patients suffering from the post-meniscectomy pain syndrome. Their meniscus prosthesis under development has already received FDA breakthrough device designation, the EU Seal of Excellence and the MedTech Innovator finalist award by AdvaMed. Their medial prosthesis is currently under investigation in a prospective clinical study in the Netherlands.
 DOI 10.7205/MILMED-D-15-00589
 DOI 10.1177/0363546515612076
 DOI 10.1002/acr.22412
Nijmegen, 14 December 2021
Today ATRO Medical announces the successful closure of a €1,9 million financing round. The funding provided by a syndicate led by Lumana Invest includes Thuja Capital Healthcare (Seed) Fund II, Innovatiefonds Brabant, Oost NL, Cascara Ventures and DSM Venturing.
ATRO Medical will use the funds to complete the AIR2 clinical study that started last October. AIR2 is the second clinical study and the first study with an improved design and performance.
The Trammpolin® meniscus prosthesis is indicated for use in patients with a history of partial or total meniscectomy (partial or total removal of the meniscus) who experience post-meniscectomy pain syndrome. ATRO Medical obtained a Breakthrough designation by the FDA in January 2020 for the Trammpolin® meniscus prosthesis. It is an independent confirmation of the innovative character of the device and the lack of clinical solutions for this group of patients.
Chronic knee pain after meniscectomy is a common disease affecting close to 100.000 patients in both EU and US every year. The debilitating consequences and irreversible damage of the knee joint effects the patient’s quality of life, ability to work and increases the cost of health care. The Trammpolin® device intends to replace the damaged meniscus, restore the function of the meniscus and reduce the pain.
Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Tony van Tienen, an orthopaedic surgeon started with the concept of a polymer-based meniscus replacement in 2008. " I am excited about great potential for the pain reduction and mobility improvement in knee patients offered by the improved Trammpolin® device"
Wim Smit, managing director of Lumana Invest commented “ATRO Medical is addressing a large unmet medical need, as an increasing number of patients with knee injuries undergo meniscectomy. The current treatment options for these patients have poor outcomes. Trammpolin® aims to provide a solution to reduce pain and restore mobility.”
ATRO Medical is based in Uden and has an office in Nijmegen, where the company benefits from the expertise and facilities of Radboudumc. Jan Hunik, co-founder and CEO: "I am very pleased with this investment round and welcomes the trust in the Trammpolin® device at this stage of the development. The funds raised will enable the company to execute a second clinical study to demonstrate its potential to improve the quality of lives of patients".
Nijmegen, 17 November 2021
As of today, patients with persistent knee pain after meniscus removal can participate in the AIR2 study at three locations in The Netherlands. This study aims on pain relief and improvement of the knee mobility through reconstruction of the meniscus. Only 10 patients participate in the new study into the new procedure under strict conditions.
Orthopedic departments of the Sint Maartenskliniek, the MUMC+ and Haaglanden Medical Center are fully prepared despite of Covid-19. The new procedure for the placement of meniscus prosthesis has been extensively practiced. The new meniscus is placed at the site of native meniscus by the use of arthroscopy. The new TRAMMPOLIN® meniscus prosthesis is made of medical grade plastic and acts as a shock absorber in the affected knee. The accompanying surgical instruments are ready for their first clinical use.
As soon as a patient signs up, the orthopedics department checks whether they meet an extensive number of criteria, such as medical history, weight, and age. In particular, adults from 18 till 70 years old who have had a total or partially removed medial meniscus. After implantation of the meniscus prosthesis, two years of periodic check-ups and examinations will follow.
The first application in humans of the meniscus prosthesis back in 2019 did not go entirely as planned. Orthopedic Dr. Tony van Tienen explains: ‘’We saw too little function improvement with the first patients: The knee remained stiff after the implantation. Unfortunately, we had to remove a few meniscus prostheses. The good news is that we didn’t ovserve any further damages on the medial side of the knee. These patients have continued their usual care trajectory. But the initial complaints were still there. Therefore, the solution we would have liked to offer had not yet been realized.”
Replacing a meniscus isn’t as easy as it seems. This is proven by the fact that nearly a decade of research was needed prior to the first study. The Dutch Arthritis Society (ReumaNederland) was one of the first initiators of this research and still supports it. Most of the preclinical research was done at the Radboud University Medical Center, often under the supervision of Dr. van Tienen. He and Dr. Jan Hunik founded the startup ATRO Medical with the aim to bring the TRAMMPOLIN® meniscus prostheses to the patient.
CEO Jan Hunik speaks of a great opportunity and a great challenge. “As a startup, we have the opportunity to make a difference for many patients. In Europe, more than 400,000 patients with persistent knee pain after meniscus removal are waiting for a surgical solution that can reduce their pain. But first, we need to prove in small studies that the prostheses provides long-lasting pain relief. After the previous study, the design was changed and we have tested our meniscus prostheses even more extensively than before. The prostheses meet all the requirements. But actual function improvement it gives to a real patient will only become clear in practice. Therefore, we’re looking for 10 people that are willing to participate in the AIR2 study.’’
Patients interested in participating in the AIR2 study can find more information on the Dutch part of the ATRO Medical website or through the three participating clinics: The Sint Maartenskliniek, the MUMC+ and Haaglanden MC.
Nijmegen (NL) - July 10, 2020
An international consortium led by the Dutch med-tech startup ATRO Medical receives over € 800,000 EUROSTARS funding to address an unmet need for Knee Osteoarthritis patients. These patients often suffer from cartilage degradation related to a dysfunctional meniscus. Based on previous research, the consortium will develop a durable meniscus prosthesis for the outer knee compartment to relief pain and restore mobility. This would change the life of thousands of osteoarthritis patients.
Knee osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Loss of meniscus tissue in the younger years can accelerate this disease, leading to complaints such as severe chronic knee pain, stiffness and immobility. Many patients finally end up with a total knee replacement. The Dutch orthopedic startup ATRO Medical has the mission to create a solution for the long, painful period before total knee replacement.
A durable meniscus prosthesis can serve as a new shock breaker in the knee, reducing bone to bone impacts and as such relief pain in the knee joint. An implant for the inner side of the knee joint is currently in clinical research after ten years of development. However, a solution for the outer knee compartment is still missing. Since forty percent of complaints are apparent in this so-called lateral compartment, many patients would benefit from it.
The consortium of ATRO Medical, the Swiss company Samaplast and the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory (ORL) of the Radboud university medical center receives over € 800,000 EUROSTARS funding as part of a total investment of € 2 million to rapidly change this situation. The team is committed to develop a new meniscus prosthesis for the outer knee compartment and have it ready for a clinical trial within just two years’ time. Both the durable solution for the outer knee compartment and the short development time would be unique in the orthopedic society.
The ORL has been involved in meniscus research for many years as biomechanical expert and was part of the team developing the IP for this innovation. Samaplast is specialized in injection molding of high-precision and medical grade products out of plastic. ATRO Medical is a spin-off from the Radboud university medical center and DSM Biomedical and focuses on the design of durable meniscus prostheses. These three parties together have the required expertise to bring the new meniscus prosthesis to life with EUROSTARS funding.
EUROSTARS supports international innovative projects led by R&D performing SMEs such as ATRO Medical, that help improve the daily lives of people around the world. This EU program aims to bring increased value to the economy, higher growth and more job opportunities.
Nijmegen (NL) - January 20, 2020
Dutch medical innovations are rarely granted the Breakthrough Designation by the FDA. Startup ATRO Medical from Nijmegen is the new kid on the block in orthopedics. This week their Trammpolin meniscus prosthesis, designed to treat chronic knee pain, received the Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA. The designation demonstrates the innovation potential of this implant and expedites US market access by receiving a priority treatment at the FDA.
The US Food & Drug Administration identifies the Trammpolin meniscus prosthesis as a unique and potentially more effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis patients with a deficient meniscus. At the moment there is no effective treatment available for a large group of these patients.
CEO Jan Hunik is excited to receive the Breakthrough Device Designation: “We still have quite some work to do before we can access the US market and obtain the CE mark for the European market. This designation endorses our conviction that the Trammpolin meniscus prosthesis can make an important impact on the lives of patients suffering from chronic knee pain. We look forward to the more intense collaboration with the FDA and are confident that this will expedite our US timelines.”
The goal of the Breakthrough Device Designation program is to provide patients and their health care providers with timely access to effective medical innovations. The designation ensures a predictable and timely assessment by the FDA. The Trammpolin meniscus prosthesis will have priority in upcoming FDA reviews. The FDA will also give more transparency with respect to the required data for market access of ATRO Medical’s meniscus implant.
Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA) is an irreversibly debilitating disease and is one of the leading causes of disability in Europe and the US. The Trammpolin meniscus prosthesis is a durable anatomically shaped implant that aims to reduce knee pain and restore mobility. Trammpolin is currently being assessed in a first clinical study in the Netherlands. A next study will most likely include clinics in other European countries as well as the United States. ATRO Medical is largely financed by venture capital and is expected to organize a next investment round (Series B) in 2021 to further accelerate its path to the EU and US market.
Boston (US) - September 22, 2019
This weekend ATRO Medical will participate in the MedTech Innovator’s 2019 Accelerator program. Our company was selected as finalist out of over 800 applications.
Together with 24 other finalists, we have the opportunity to give our pitch to investors, meet with regulatory institutes and healthcare providers, and learn from proficient Life Sciences experts. This will strengthen our strategy to bring our Trammpolin® Meniscus Prosthesis to market in the most effective way.
If you are attending the MedTech Conference in Boston and would to meet us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nijmegen (NL) - August 20, 2019
We are proud to announce that from now on ATRO Medical is ISO 13485:2016 certified. Notified body DEKRA confirms that ATRO Medical meets an extensive framework of requirements regarding product quality.
ATRO Medical has achieved ISO 13485 certification for the design, development, manufacture and distribution of its meniscus prosthesis system. The certification underlines that ATRO Medical is able to deliver a medical product that meets the requirements of the customers and the applicable regulations.
The quality system of ATRO Medical has been extensively audited by DEKRA, a recognized notified body for manufacturers in the medical industry. An intensive period of preparation preceded this audit, to properly design the quality management system and to make it effective for our start-up. With the ISO certification as the crowny glory.
Nijmegen (NL) - July 11, 2017
Today ATRO Medical announces the successful closure of a Series A financing round for the development of a polymer based meniscus implant.
The funding provided by a syndicate led by Thuja Capital Healthcare (Seed) Fund II and includes Brabant Development Agency, DSM Venturing, Cascara Ventures and Radboud university medical center.
ATRO Medical will use the new funding for the development and market registration of Trammpolin®; an anatomically shaped Meniscus Implant. This investment will enable ATRO Medical to treat the first patients in 2018 and complete a First in Man clinical trial in 2019.
Osteoarthritis, resulting from the wear and damage of the articular cartilage, is a common disease affecting 10% of the men and 18% of the women globally according to the WHO. Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a major cause of joint pain and reduced mobility of patients. The debilitating consequences of Osteoarthritis adversely effects a patient’s quality of life, ability to work and increases the cost of health care.
Meniscus damage and wear are important causes of Osteoarthritis of the knee. The Trammpolin® device intends to replace the damaged meniscus with an implantable prosthesis, with the aim of restoring the protective function of the meniscus by acting as a joint spacer.
Trammpolin® will become the first anatomically shaped polymer based meniscus implant. The device serves a market with over 1.000.000 clinical procedures a year in the US and EU, in which damaged meniscus tissue of the knee joint is removed. A large number of these patients will develop Osteoarthritis during the 10-20 year period following the removal of damaged meniscus tissue.
Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Tony van Tienen, an accomplished orthopaedic surgeon, is excited about great potential for the pain reduction and mobility improvement in knee patients offered by Trammpolin®. Osteoarthritis patients have no effective treatment options with the current health care offerings.
“ATRO Medical is addressing a large unmet medical need, as an increasing number of patients with knee injuries undergo meniscectomy (partial or total removal of the meniscus). These patients gradually develop osteoarthritis, resulting in pain and reduced mobility. Current treatment options for these patients are limited and have poor outcomes. Trammpolin® aims to provide a cost-effective solution to reduce pain and restore mobility.”, commented Harrold van Barlingen, managing director of Thuja Capital.