One of the biggest names in Indiana life sciences is finding success with a new startup. Indianapolis-based Zorion Medical Inc., which is developing medical device technology that absorbs in the body, has leased lab space and joined the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute’s SPARK program. Founder David Broecker, who left his post as IBRI’s CEO last year, says joining the program will give Zorion access to the institute’s resources, including microscopy, 3-D printing and other equipment.
Broecker says most implant devices are made of metal and stay in the body permanently. With absorbable bio-metals, which he says are mostly made of magnesium, can be naturally absorbed. He says the SPARK program will allow Zorion to prototype, test and optimize the devices. The company hopes to begin testing in humans within 24 months.
Although the company has been "operating mostly in virtual mode" so far, Broecker says recent breakthroughs "have now given us the confidence to build capabilities that will enable us to move forward rapidly." Zorion is working with medical wire manufacturer Fort Wayne Metals on the product design.
Zorion Medical Program Director Mark Paquin says previous absorbable medical devices are polymer-based and can remain in the body for years. He says Zorion’s products can safely absorb in months, which can avoid complications. The company’s initial area of focus is peripheral vasuclar disease, which often requires permanent devices like stents.
Broecker says, with Indiana’s orthopedics strength and available manufacturing partners like Fort Wayne Metals, "There really is no other place in the country that has that kind of concentration of expertise and capabilities."