Materials Science

Seqens renews its partnership and collaboration with Arkema for the development of its Medical IMPEKK™ PEKK for long-term implants, ideal for use in 3D printing.

Seqens is pleased to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent to renew its partnership and collaboration with Arkema, a world leader in specialty materials, in the development of its IMPEKK™ Medical PEKK for long-lasting implants. 

Since 2010, Arkema has licensed exclusively to the Seqens group (via its subsidiary Seqens CDMO, EX PCAS) its “PEKK” (Poly-Ether-Ketone-Ketone) production technology for the implantable medical market. Seqens produces PEKK at its production site in Couterne, France. PEKK is part of the “PAEK” (“Poly-Aryl-Ether-Ketone”) family already widely used in the field of medical implants, through traditional means of implementation (injection, machining of semi-products). 

For the past 10 years, many implants, for cranio-maxillofacial surgery, have been developed using “PEKK” and successfully implanted. 

Convinced by the very high potential of this material with extreme properties, Seqens announces the development of its MED IMPEKK™ for the implantable medical device market with the objective of offering pellets and filaments for 3D printing as early as S2 2022. 

3D printing is profoundly changing the production of medical implants, offering unparalleled freedom of design, simplification of the supply chain and reduction of raw material waste. Due to its physical and chemical properties and its optimal crystallization speed, “PEKK” is the most suitable material for 3D printing and is already widely used in industry, especially in aeronautics. 

Kumovis, offering Medical-specific 3D printing solutions, was one of the first to show strong interest in Seqens’ medical “PEKK” in 2019. Recognizing the advantages of “PEKK” for its mechanical properties and ease of use in 3D printing, Kumovis has developed a cranial implant based on Seqens’ “PEKK” on the “Kumovis R1” that is the only FFF 3D printer with an integrated cleanroom and a unique temperature management system leading to mechanical properties comparable with machined implants. Thus, Kumovis allows 3D printing of medical implants with high-performance materials that have comparable mechanics to cortical bone, 

www.seqens.com SEQENS SAS, – 21 chemin de la Sauvegarde, 21 Ecully Parc – CS 33167 – 69134 ECULLY Cedex – Share capital 226 890 746.63 euros – 444 465 736 00049 RCS Lyon – Tel : +33 (0)4 26 99 18 00 – Fax : +33 (0)4 26 99 18 38 

imaging advantages to track osseointegration, reduced risks of allergies due to metal ion release, and remarkably reduced costs compared to traditional manufacturing. Finally, the possibility with this technology for on-site manufacturing at the point-of-care would significantly reduce the lead time of implants. We, as Kumovis, are highly enthusiastic for our collaboration with Seqens and looking forward to continuing the work that we have started together. 

“Seqens will bring its experience in the development and manufacture of medical Poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK) and will leverage Arkema’s expertise in the processing of plastic materials in multiple advanced applications, including their use in 3D printing. This collaboration will allow us to create value for our customers, extend our expertise in the pharmaceutical field to implantable medical devices and to increase our portfolio of innovative technologies already deployed in our 7 R&D centers worldwide”. Philippe Clavel- VP Pharmaceutical Solutions at Seqens 

“It is with great pleasure that we sign today this Letter of Intent with Seqens to strengthen and extend our technological partnership successfully started 10 years ago. The advancement of 3D printing is profoundly and permanently changing the fundamentals of implant production and the ease of processing of PEKK compared to other PAEK makes it the material of choice to lead this revolution. I am convinced that Seqens will be able to impose this material with its exceptional properties on the implantable medical landscape”. Erwoan PEZRON, member of Arkema’s Executive Committee and President of the High-Performance Polymers Business Line