Turn a process at lab scale into industrial reality is often a long road, strewn with pitfalls but so rewarding when it hits the goal
- 2005, researchers from CERMAV (Grenoble) and LGC (INP Toulouse) are developing a new process for the oxidation of the cellulose, based on the use of supercritical CO2. The winning combination of skills, process-product, allows filing an international patent for this new more efficient and cleaner process to manufacture oxidized cellulose. The main application is to enable the production of hemostatic* bioresorbable** medical devices for surgery.
- 2006, the Company Sofradim, a subsidiary of a large American biomedical group, buys the license of this patent and launches studies to industrialize the process, in partnership with the two labs.
- 2008, a pre-industrial pilot is installed at LGC and allows validating the technological solutions designed for large-scale extrapolation. The task was not easy, an exodothermic reaction in a high pressure reactor had to be mastered!
- 2009, the pilot is transferred to Sofradim factory in Trévoux (France) to produce lots in order to certify the product. Design and construction of the industrial unit are started. Biomedical standards are stringent and after some adventures the industrial unit is operational in November 2014 and put into intensive tests to ascertain the robustness of the process.
- 2013, in parallel to the construction of the industrial unit, a small scale production is started using the pre-industrial unit, to manufacture the commercial product, a composite hemostatic compress, Veriset®. This product is first offered to surgeons of several European countries.
- end of 2015, deployment in all European countries.
10 years, this is the time needed for a breakthrough innovation like this one. But this adventure is a good example of successful and profitable collaboration between labs and industry. Complementary skills were undoubtedly a major factor in this success.
*hemostatic: which stops the bleeding
**bioresorbable: which can be left inside the human body as it slowly degrades in it