Kat Innovation is developing a non-invasive medical device for elderly subjects and people with severe chronic renal failure who suffer from hip fractures due to osteoporosis. The OSTAAT™ device stimulates osteogenesis (bone formation) in the hips.
This very low intensity electrical current accelerates the consolidation of the fracture after surgical fixation, which allows patients to get back on their feet as quickly as possible and prevents the occurrence of the same fracture in the contralateral hip.
Within 5 years, Kat Innovation plans to become a world leader in the prevention and treatment of fractures due to osteoporosis, whether or not associated with chronic renal failure.
Tell us about yourself?
CEO and founder of Kat Innovation, Marcel Maroist, studied physical education at Laval University, and has been working in health research for over 10 years.
He has more than 40 years of experience in business management and event organisation of all kinds. Since the beginning of his career, he has been at the head of several companies in the health and sports sectors.
He has owned a paramedical clinic in the Quebec City area and managed a sports medicine centre on the North Shore of Montreal.
He has always been passionate about physical activity, sports, and health in general.
He has been practicing martial arts since the age of 12 and is now an 8th degree Taekwondo black belt grand master.
During his career, he has opened more than fifteen Taekwondo schools in Quebec, France, and California.
Wanting to influence our contemporary lifestyles, he wanted to create a company focused on health and physical activity by offering a range of innovative, patented and scientifically proven products and services.
From this desire, the company Kat Innovation was born.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I would say to myself to make clear agreements with physicians and KOLs before taking any steps in the project in order to clarify first of all what is the unmet need that our technology will address.
Furthermore, I would make sure that the key people, the key employees are 100% involved in the implementation and the accomplishment of the first important step, the in vitro study so there will be no delays in the completion of it.
What problem does your business solve?
We are developing a non-invasive medical device to consolidate hip fractures in subjects with osteoporosis, whether or not associated with severe chronic renal failure, thereby addressing an unmet need in both types of patients especially on people affected by severe CKD since they have no options, they cannot take any medication.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
In fact, this technology was discovered by chance during another clinical study.
This 10-week study focused on targeted fat loss through electrical stimulation using a very low intensity current.
This study not only allowed us to demonstrate the effectiveness on targeted fat loss but also allowed us to discover that we had obtained significant results on bone formation.
It is therefore following this first clinical study that we decided to launch the development of a device that aims to accelerate the process of bone consolidation after a fracture, especially on people suffering from osteoporosis associated or not with severe chronic renal failure.
What is your magic sauce?
As you can imagine, even though PCT patents have been filed, we do not want to reveal our secret recipe. All we can say is that the electric current used allows us direct access to the calcium deposit that promotes bone formation.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our objectives for the next 5 years are to conduct the in vitro study to determine the official mechanisms of action of the technology, to conduct the multi-center in vivo study on humans in collaboration with physicians and partner hospitals (Quebec, Bordeaux, Poitiers, Limoges, Malaga, Tunis), obtain regulatory approvals to finally start gradually commercializing in the countries where we want to market in the first years, namely Canada, USA and Europe, depending, of course, on regulatory approvals.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
As you probably know, the biggest challenge for a startup is to raise the necessary funding to be able to continue the process without experiencing delays. So that’s the biggest challenge we’re facing, especially right now.
To this was added the last-minute withdrawal of a student who was to do her doctorate on our technology.
She was registered at Laval University and Laval University Hospital Research Center to begin at the beginning of January 2022. This withdrawal has had and still has repercussions that hurt to the company.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
As we are not in the commercialization phase, we do not yet have feedback from users, however, the doctors involved in the project are unanimous, 100% of their patients with osteoporosis related to severe chronic renal failure would use our device because they have no other option.