University of Arizona team launches orthopedic startup


A new startup at Tucson-based University of Arizona is setting out to solve challenges that orthopedic surgeons face when it comes to extracting hardware. 

Daniel Latt, MD, PhD, an associate professor at the college of medicine and the college of engineering, led a team of inventors, including five students, to file patents for its two inventions and license the intellectual property to their startup Ancerix, which was formed to bring the inventions to market. 

The Ancerix toolbox kit is a set of medical instruments designed to tackle three challenges in orthopedic hardware removal, including screw heads that are inaccessible due to bone overgrowth, screws that spin freely and have lost purchase due to infection or poor bone quality, and pieces of a broken rod that are irretrievable because they lack attachment points.

The extraction toolkit created by Dr. Latt and his team is still awaiting FDA approval, according to an Oct. 2 press release from the university. 

The project team includes aerospace and mechanical engineering major Emilio Araiza, former biomedical engineering majors Carlos Urea-De La Puerta and Erick De Leon, and former systems engineering majors Carolina Gomez Llanos and Eva Richter.

Dr. Latt's collaborators also included medical device designer Ramses Galáz, PhD, who has 34 granted patents on orthopedic surgery, intensive care and interventional cardiology devices, and John Buttery, who has experience in sales channel development and business growth. 

Ancerix is currently pursuing seed round capital, targeted to close by fall 2023. Upon FDA approval, it plans to launch the toolkit by fall 2024. 

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