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TENSIVE: THE BIOMEDICAL STARTUP THAT AIMS TO REVOLUTIONIZE PROSTHESES
This biomedical startup has a very noble mission: to improve the quality of life of breast cancer patients by providing them with a better reconstructive option, after tumor resection.
Tensive was established in 2012 as a spin-off of the Filarete Foundation, with the aim of developing an innovative type of prosthesis to provide natural breast reconstruction after cancer. Tensive implants are based on synthetic biodegradable biomaterials produced with internal micro-channels. This is a unique combination, developed by a patented process, which aims to promote the natural growth of adipose tissue. The prostheses are designed to degrade gradually during the regeneration process, to then be replaced by fat tissue.
"The partial or total surgical removal of a breast can have a profound psychological impact on cancer patients," explained the CEO of Tensive, Gianfranco Bellezza. He added: "Silicone implants are typically used in reconstruction surgery: a technology which goes back 35 years, but still brings with it many risks." Tensive aims to develop an innovative technology which will promote the adipose tissue regeneration, restoring a natural breast to patients who undergo mastectomy or lumpectomy.
"Our mission," said Bellezza, "is to improve their quality of life and to drastically reduce the number of costly and painful operations required."
The prostheses developed by Tensive are based on technologies created and patented in the Filarete Foundation laboratories by a research group from the University of Milan, including the company's four founders: Irini Gerges, Federico Martello, Alessandro Tocchio and Margherita Tamplenizza. The product is still at the pre-clinical research stage and has yet to be tested on humans.
Clinical trials will involve both Italians and European centers. Tensive's goal is to reach the market in about 5 years.
But the project promises great success: after it won the important Marzotto Prize at the end of 2014, a group of investors decided earlier this year to put 1.4 million Euros into the biomedical startup. "We are very pleased to announce our investment in Tensive, a startup that has great potential to bring real innovation into the field of reconstructive surgery. Our investment in Tensive is also, and above all, an investment in a dedicated team, involving highly talented individuals with both scientific and managerial expertise," stated the President of Rancilio Cube Srl.
In 2014, three new professionals joined the team: Gianfranco Bellezza (CEO and Chief Science Officer), Alberto Cantaluppi (President) and Valentina Morigi. To date, the company has eight professionals on its team, with expertise in the scientific, clinical, financial and commercial fields. Tensive is supported by a a prestigious Advisory Board, including recognised experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery, nanotechnologies, and regulatory management.