Portuguese life science scale-up moves HQ to Gothenburg
BoneEasy was founded in Portugal in 2012 by Rui Coelho, a doctor in oral maxillofacial surgery. The company offers solutions for patients that have facial and jaw defects, for example, due to trauma, accidents and diseases. Its implants and prostheses are custom made for each patient and 3D printed in medical grade titanium.
“The solutions we have today have a long history in dentistry and in the oral maxillofacial field. We have finetuned these and further developed concepts into the world of 3D printing. The biggest difference with us is that we have options for those patients that were very complicated to treat in the past,” says Nicklas André-Andersson, partner at BoneEasy.
“More than 1,300 patients have now been rehabilitated with our solutions.”
Early contact with Business Region Göteborg
Around seven years ago, the company’s founder and CEO, Dr. Rui Coelho, had contact with Iris Öhrn, our investment for life science. BoneEasy wanted to expand into Sweden and needed local expertise. One thing led to another and Iris was able to connect them with Swede Nicklas André-Andersson, a former executive at Dentsply. The fit was right and Nicklas soon joined the company, coming on board as a partner, responsible for business development.
BoneEasy has since gone from start-up to scale-up and today sells to over 35 markets around the world. It currently has around 15 staff, a number that is set to grow as it expands globally.
“We have several projects in the coming years. Until now we have financed the company with cashflow meaning that we don´t have any external investors in the company. To take the next step and to scale-up the company we are applying for loans,” says Nicklas.
Sights set on the North American market
As part of its expansion, BoneEasy will soon start construction of a new state-of-the-art production centre and office outside of Porto in Portugal. It also has plans to establish a production centre and distribution in the US, registration and distribution in China, and open a production centre in Saudi Arabia.
“We are very focused on the North American market, working through the approval process. We anticipate having manufacturing and distribution in 2023. We have also just had our first patient in the US, which is a milestone,” says Nicklas.
Meanwhile, the company is in the last stage of the process of moving its global headquarters to Gothenburg. In the future the commercial office will be based here and include sales and marketing.
“For us it is not a matter of saving on taxes or reducing costs. We see much bigger values in being part of Gothenburg’s success story in our field. Everything originates from Professor Brånemark and at the heart of that is Gothenburg. This is also where, in the past, you had the headquarters and R&D units of AstraTech and Nobel Biocare, for example,” says Nicklas.
Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark at the University of Gothenburg was a pioneering researcher and physician who in the early 1960s discovered the unique properties of titanium and its ability to attach directly to bone tissue (a process known as osseointegration). The discovery has revolutionized the implant industry.
Iris explains that for decades the academic and industrial actors in the field of biomaterials and odontology in Gothenburg and western Sweden have provided a platform upon which world leading research and applications have emerged. Today, nearly half of all Swedish companies within this field reside in our region.
“An even broader spectrum of R&D within this discipline of biomaterials, implants and cell therapy is found today in companies such as Mölnlycke Healthcare, Dentsply Sirona, Cellink, Integrum, Boneprox, Zimmer, TakaraBio, Verigraft, Intelligent Implants, Promimic and many more. Traditions in knowledge-sharing and entrepreneurship have fostered strong ties between research, industry and education,” says Iris Öhrn.
Strong capabilities within 3D bioprinting
Gothenburg’s know-how around 3D bioprinting, with companies like Cellink located here, was also a drawcard for BoneEasy. And the company looks forward to being part of this community.
“Even if our solutions are not really matching what is done here today, there are potential synergies. And we believe that we will be a very nice addition and can contribute with our know-how,” says Nicklas.
Iris has supported BoneEasy throughout the entire establishment process. She welcomes the company’s investment in the region.
“The new operations in Gothenburg will result in several new jobs. It will also broaden the region’s international network and overall competitiveness. We have offered our contacts and advice along the way and will continue to do so until we see BoneEasy flourish and develop in Gothenburg. That is the goal,” she says.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
To learn more about business opportunities in life science and how we can help you establish and invest in the Gothenburg region, please contact:
Investment advisor life science at Business Region Göteborg
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