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AK Medical enjoying healthy implant growth

By LIU ZHIHUA | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-05 10:36

In 2021, the company successfully launched three 3D-printing-based new products, winning the Beijing Science and Technology Award, a prestigious science honor.

It also launched its Innovative Customized Orthopedic Solution (ICOS) platform for customized design of medical procedures and manufacturing of artificial implants for joint and spine, injury treatment and orthopedic cancer treatment.

Starting to apply 3D-printing technology in orthopedic joint and spine replacement implant design and manufacturing in 2009, the company commercialized its first 3D-printed hip implant product in 2015.

Now, it has two 3D-printed implant products approved by the National Medical Product Administration as Class-III domestic medical devices for customized use, making it the only domestic company holding such a certificate. In China, Class-III domestic medical devices undergo strict regulatory review by the national medical product regulator for approval and registration.

It also has eight 3D-printed products approved as standardized implants under the category of Class-III medical devices, and 28 filings for using customized 3D-printed implant products in partner hospitals.

Li said that by using 3D printing technology, the production procedure of orthopedic implants, especially those with complicated structures, can be significantly simplified with an obvious production efficiency boost and raw material consumption reduction.

Liu Zhongjun, a professor at the orthopedics department at Peking University Third Hospital, said 3D-printing technology can fulfill clinical demand for customized implants to realize treatment outcomes that cannot be achieved with traditional modalities.

"The development of 3D-printed implants using high-end manufacturing technology has brought new opportunities for Chinese enterprises," Liu said, adding that the spurt in domestic-made 3D-printed orthopedic implants has made Chinese enterprises an important force in China's high-end orthopedic implant market.

"The technology is relatively new and Chinese enterprises therefore have the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in the high-end orthopedic implant market as long as they pay attention to R&D and innovation," he said.

AK Medical said it has accumulated advantages in technologies, talent and production capacity in the past years.

The company said it has the largest 3D-printing orthopedic implant production base in the Asia-Pacific region, and an R&D team of more than 100 members to rapidly conduct research and realize production to meet specific clinical demand.

It will launch a digital orthopedic technology platform to incubate intelligent orthopedic surgery systems for orthopedic healthcare procedures.

It has also already established high-end talent training platforms such as a post-doctoral research station, which the company said will help domestic enterprises enhance R&D capabilities and add value to their products.

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