By Liz White, UT staffNew York-US firm Small Bone Innovations llc has signed licensing agreements with Artimplant AB, a Swedish biomaterials and orthobiologics company, to develop and market four new spacer implants for treating osteoarthritis in small bones and joints using Artimplant's polyurethane-based Artelon biomaterial. The Swedish firm describes Artelon as a "degradable polyurethane-urea patented biomaterial that acts as a temporary support for healing tissue." Under an earlier agreement, SBI has a global marketing license for the Artelon Spacer CMC-I, a biodegradable implant for treating osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb, which SBI says occurs in patients over the age of 50, especially women."These spacer implants are designed to help the body heal itself," said Anthony Viscogliosi, chairman & ceo of SBI, in the announcement of the licensing arrangement. Based on US surgeon's good experience of treating thumb conditions, they now see "great potential for treating degenerative joints of the wrist and forefoot," he added. Artelon's main feature is the material's proven biocompatibility, said Viscogliosi, adding that the CMC-I spacer acts "by preserving the bony anatomy of the hand, … [and] buffers the bone-on-bone contact consistent with osteoarthritic joint degeneration." "