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EpiBone: living bones grown from stem cells

In the past, humanity viewed the body as a “machine” with “interchangeable parts” provided by cadaver tissues and prosthetic devices. We envision a future in which the body is viewed as a “renewable resource” by mobilizing stem cells to grow living replacement parts in the laboratory.

EpiBone is a NYC-based biotech company seeking to improve human lives by growing living bones are customized to the patient and defect being treated. Every year, millions suffering from craniofacial defects due to cancer, trauma, or birth defects are left without options, and without the ability to reintegrate into the society. We take the patient’s CT scans and fat-derived stem cells to engineer mature, living bones with precise anatomical fit to the defect, and no risk of immune-rejection, Our technology is based on fifteen years of NIH-funded research in bone tissue engineering.

EpiBone is a technology platform serving surgeons and patients who may benefit from anatomically precise, patient-specific grafts. EpiBone's main competitors are patient bone harvesting, cadaver based products, and prosthetics. EpiBone is better for three main reasons: (1) EpiBone's precise anatomical shape means a better fit than patient or cadaver bones (2) EpiBone continues to remodel, unlike tissues taken from cadavers or prosthetics and (3) because EpiBone is grown from patient cells, there’s no second surgery.

We envision EpiBone as a “grow your own bone” approach to repair the head, face, shoulder, arms, legs, knees and beyond, and pave the way for other fully biological implants grown using the same principles to repair our missing or diseased organs.

We are thrilled at the prospect of pioneering a new paradigm for skeletal reconstruction that unlocks the power of the patient’s own stem cells to regenerate the body. But we're brand new, and don't even have our own lab yet -- we're ready for our own space! With this grant, we hope to get our own, first "new home."

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (February 2014)