Member Case Study | TOKA: Transforming surgical procedures through tech

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Hailed as a game changer in orthopaedic surgery, the TOKA® HTO surgical solution is about to transform the lives of young, active sufferers of knee osteoarthritis. Using digital imaging modelling, additive manufacturing technologies and supported by a comprehensive training package, surgeons will be able to train, plan and perform patient-specific High Tibial Osteotomy surgery (HTO) to achieve precise intervention and optimum knee alignment with a patient-specific prosthesis to deliver superior comfort, strength and fast recovery.

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TOKA® is a collaborative project led by Alberto Casonato of 3D Metal Printing (residential member at the SETsquared Bath Innovation Centre), Professor Richie Gill and researcher Alisdair McLeod from the Centre of Orthopaedic Biomechanics (University of Bath), and consultant orthopaedic surgeons Andrew Toms and Vipul Mandalia from Exeter’s Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre.

With the help of the SETsquared Business Acceleration Programme, through SETsquared Bath the project has so far secured nearly £1 million from investment partners and a public grant to run the UK first insilico trial to evaluate the ground-breaking technique without a single patient intervention. Results will be published soon and  the first TOKA personalised HTO in-man clinical trials will start in the NHS and Europe by the end of the year. SETsquared’s support throughout was fundamental for the project to secure funding and reach an international audience.

High tibial osteotomy is a complex, three-dimensional alignment puzzle which we have so far only able to try and solve in two dimensions. Current implants and techniques are a one-size-fits-all solution and rely entirely on the surgeon’s intra-operative technical ability. Results can therefore be variable, with a significantly longer rehab period, are associated with high incidents of complications and often require metalwork removal at a later date. Combining visual imaging and 3D printing technology offers amazing potential.
— Professor Andrew Toms, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre
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The support of SETsquared has been vital to help bring this breakthrough technology to the attention of investors and healthcare professionals and to raise more than £350,000 to fund development and run the UK’s first virtual clinical trials. A further £600,000 in investor funding and grants will enable us to complete a multi-centre live trial and gear up our manufacturing operation to go to market by the end of 2019.
— Alberto Casonato, Founder 3D Metal Printing