Garwood Medical Devices Raises $4 Million to Prevent Implant Infections

By Bruce Harpham Saturday, June 12, 2021

Garwood Medical Devices, a biotechnology startup company based in Buffalo, has closed a $4 million Series C funding round. The company is working on technology to reduce infections associated with prosthetic knee implants. Garwood Medical Devices has not yet brought a product to the market, but the business is getting close. In October 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted BioPrax into the Breakthrough Device Program.

Knee replacement X-ray.

Doctors Invest

Garwood Medical Devices has already found support from doctors. “Over $1 million of the $4 million we raised came from orthopedic surgeons and medical professionals,” Wayne D Bacon, president and CEO of Garwood Medical Devices, told Startup Savant in an interview. In addition, the startup business has received $100,000 in funding from patients who have suffered from implant infections.

In total, the startup business has raised $11.4 million in prior investing rounds. The business raised $3.8 million in a Series B investing round that closed in October 2019. Multiple investors in the Series A round and Series B round continued to invest in the Series C round. Other investors in Garwood Medical Devices include the WNY Impact Investment Fund and the Murray family (former owners of UC Coatings, a wood products company founded in 1971). Launched in 2017, the WNY Impact Investment fund has a business focus on the Buffalo and Niagara area of New York State. The fund invested $500,000 in another health startup company, Circuit Clinical, earlier in 2021.

Fighting Biofilm Infections

Stopping infections associated with medical implants is a significant business opportunity for the medical device company. “Biofilm infections in metallic implants are devastating which can include impacts on orthopedic implants such as knee, hip, spine, shoulder and trauma hardware,” Bacon said. For example, the company has found research that estimates that 2.2% of knee implants have infections which means that more than 75,000 patients can suffer from this type of infection.

Furthermore, a 2016 article in the Journal of Arthroplasty forecasts demand for knee procedures (i.e., “total knee arthroplasty”) are forecast to increase to 3.4 million procedures by 2030. First performed in 1968, more than 600,000 total knee replacement surgery procedures were carried out in the United States (US). Unfortunately, infections associated with knee procedures mean patients die earlier and do not obtain additional implants when needed.

Minimally Invasive Procedure

Some medical devices require costly and invasive procedures. For example, implanting a heart pacemaker can cost nearly $100,000 for a patient without insurance. However, BioPrax, the device developed by the startup company, is different.

“We consider BioPrax to be minimally invasive as the only thing that enters the body is a needle that is less than 1mm in diameter. Then, two electrodes simply stick to the skin during treatment. The treatment is targeted to be 4 hours but is currently being optimized to be faster potentially,” said Brian Peterson, vice president of engineering and chief technology officer (CTO) of Garwood Medical Devices, during the interview. “The goal is to allow the patient to retain the implant, which would otherwise need to be removed,” Peterson added.

There are also significant financial consequences to preventing infections. For example, Garwood Medical Devices estimates the cost of surgery, rehabilitation, and associated expenses to range from $100,000 to $300,000 for knee and hip prosthetic joint infection (PJI).

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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