A new company called HAPPE Spine has formed to develop and commercialize a material technology that allows for the construction of partial or fully porous hydroxyapatite-reinforced polyetheretherketone (PEEK) implants.
HAPPE derives from HydroxyApatite Porous PEEK. The company was formed by Genesis Innovation Group with investments from cultivate(MD) Capital Funds I and II, and is based on the work of Ryan K. Roeder, Ph.D., and researchers from the University of Notre Dame that began over 10 years ago. “At that time, the market was not yet prepared for this innovation,” Dr. Roeder explained. “As surgeons are now recognizing the advantages of utilizing bioactive hydroxyapatite enhanced PEEK or surface-porous PEEK, we are excited to combine both innovations into the same device.”
HA whisker reinforced PEEK with variable porosity can be used to create spinal interbody implants, as well as other potential applications throughout the body. HAPPE will evaluate additional device applications as part of its product strategy.
Genesis Innovation Group and cultivate(MD) Capital Funds will remain partnered with the developers at HAPPE, all of whom will continue as owners, investors and advisors.
Along with HAPPE, Genesis Innovation Group’s portfolio includes a number of orthopaedic companies including Shoulder Innovations, Magnesium Development, iMagen Orthopedics and Imascap.
PEEK vs. titanium conversations continue. We recently spoke with three veteran spine surgeons who all confirmed a shift to incorporate titanium—while moving away from PEEK— in cage technology. With that being said, companies, like HAPPE, are applying new manufacturing and surface processes to PEEK to overcome some of the material’s limitations, including bone ingrowth.
- Last month, Vallum received FDA 510(k) clearance to market a PEEK interbody fusion device with a PEEKplus® nanotextured surface created with proprietary Accelerated Neutral Atom Beam technology.
- NuVasive’s Cohere, a porous PEEK interbody fusion device, was recently proven as a clinically viable alternative to improve osseointegration and fusion rates of interbody implants to treat degenerative disc disease.
Julie A. Vetalice, Editorial Assistant and Rob Meyer, Senior Editor, co-authored this report.