Thommen Medical is poised to grow internationally on the back of an innovative dental implant system with a new sales partner in Japan and venture capital funding.
The young start-up joins a growing list of Swiss firms making headway in the emerging sector of medical technology.
There are about three dozen firms active in this area around the world, according to the World Dental Federation - and a surprisingly large number are from Switzerland.
The list of Swiss companies include Centerpulse, ITI Straumann, Cresco TI, Jotta, and now Thommen Medical.
The young firm, which based in Waldenburg near Basel, has announced it is in the final stages of negotiation with a Japanese dental implants sales firm to exclusively distribute its system in Japan starting in early 2004.
A final announcement will be made at a later date.
At the same time, the firm has revealed that it has raised a total of SFr 14.1 million in venture capital this year.
A first tranche of CHF 8.1 million was subscribed by the lead-investor Venture Incubator, which was joined by new and existing investors BiomedInvest, HBM Bioventures, Invision, Ineo and Acceleration International in June 2003.
A second tranche of CHF 6.0 million was recently closed with the participation of new investors Neomed and Genevest, as well as two private investors.
The technological basis of the implant is the Ha-Ti-System, which has been on the market for more than 15 years, according to the firm’s investor company BiomedInvest.
It was a technology created in the dental division of the Mathys Group, an established Swiss company in the med-tech sector.
By Valerie Thompson
In compliance with the JTI standards