Working towards eliminating back pain
NC Biomatrix B.V. was founded in 2019 after years of extensive research activities by Prof. Keita Ito and his team. Prof. Ito has led the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Group at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) since 2007. He is especially interested in functional biomechanics and mechanobiology of musculoskeletal tissues. Research into notochordal cells led to several in vitro discoveries which hinted at possible restorative effects on loss of biomechanical functioning of the spine caused by disc degeneration. These results were later confirmed in an in vivo model with dogs, implicating the possibility of a curative therapy that could be of value to millions of patients suffering from back pain. The research resulted in several high-profile scientific publications which laid the foundation for the company.
It became apparent that the results were promising, and in 2018, Prof. Ito, in collaboration with TU/e, started investigating the possibilities of a spin-off company to fully develop an actual product. They were introduced to NLC, a healthtech venture builder based in Amsterdam which is specialized in launching and supporting science-based startups. NLC brought in Mr. Robert Guilleaume with his more than 35 years of experience in the orthopaedic and spine business, both with multinational companies as well as start-ups. Mr. Guilleaume has the daily lead over the company and immediately started developing its business case, including identification of interesting financial instruments such as the MIT feasibility study and the VFF, and introducing the company to several investors.