Injecting Hyaluronan (HA) into joints and skin has become an increasingly popular way of restoring function or appearance, lost due to disease, injury, or age. Such injections are known as viscosupplementation when used to alleviate osteoarthritis, and dermal fillers when used for aesthetic purposes, and have a vast global market.

The normal function of both joints and skin rely heavily on the presence of a long molecule called hyaluronan (HA). This molecule has hydrating, lubricating, and cushioning qualities important in many settings, including keeping our skin soft and supple, and ensuring that our joints move smoothly. As we age our body’s production of HA diminishes causing our skin to become dry, delicate, and wrinkled. Age, along with injury or lifestyle-induced risk factors, also affects our joints negatively. The constant wear-and-tear of joints can result in osteoarthritis, a painful condition that restricts movement of the affected joint, and may eventually result in the need for e.g., knee replacement surgery.

Need

HA-based treatments degrade over time and must be repeated at intervals, which is costly and can cause discomfort and pain. HA-products for viscosupplementation are injected directly into the joint to be treated and offer osteoarthritis patients a non-surgical way to manage pain and restore mobility, when first-line treatments such as weight loss, physiotherapy, and pain medication, fail. The pain relief and restored mobility offered by viscosupplementation reduces the need for pain medication, can delay the need for surgical interventions, and enables patients to lead an active lifestyle.

The perception of youthfulness as an indicator of vitality, strength, and beauty has long caused visual signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dry, or sagging skin, to be an unwelcome part of life. In modern-day society, we are more exposed to visual reminders of both aesthetic ideals and how we ourselves compare to those than ever before. Aesthetic HA-fillers treatments often consist of multiple injections into the highly sensitive areas of e.g., the face, lips, and decolletage. Every injection also comes with the risk of the filler being injected into blood vessels, potentially causing tissue destruction.

Advantages

Our innovation offers the possibility to satisfy the unmet need of increasing the duration of HA-based products. This enables the extension of the time between injections, reducing the number of injections needed overtime, which offers benefits to consumers and patients, as well as producers.

Consumer and patient

  • Comfort – the increased time between injections.
  • Risk minimization – fewer injections reduce the risk of complications.
  • Patient health – longer periods of pain relief and restored mobility for osteoarthritis patients, enabling an active lifestyle with fewer interruptions.

Producers

  • Opportunity for premium pricing through:
  • Competitive advantage – an edge compared to competitors.
  • Convenience for consumers and patients – current consumer trends favor convenience over cost.

Market

Both the demand for viscosupplementation, and patient base are predicted to grow as many western countries face aging populations, and large parts of the world see an increase in both life expectancy, and the prevalence of lifestyle-induced risk factors, such as obesity and diabetes. The market for viscosupplementation products was valued at over $2,7 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to $ 4.8 billion by 2026.
A growing number of people worldwide, therefore, opt to eliminate wrinkles or alter the shape of facial features by use of one of the modern-day aesthetic markets most versatile and sculptural options – dermal fillers. The market for dermal fillers reached a total of $3.4 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach a staggering $16 billion by 2026.

UBI Incubation Phase

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Contact Information

Tvistevägen 48
907 36 Umeå
Urban Hellman
PhD, Founder
Göran Larsson
PhD, Founder
Marie Honn
PhD, Project Manager