The history of BBS reaches back 30–40 years, when research on bone grafting and bone substitutes started in the Universities of Oulu and Tampere. The product development started as a university project in Oulu already in 1990s. It had been seen that a protein fraction extracted from bovine bones was able to induce bone formation in animal tests.
Professor Pekka Jalovaara was responsible for the project since 1997. In 2003, he co-founded BBS-Bioactive Bone Substitutes Oyj in order to develop and commercialize a bone substitute product. Jalovaara has been responsible for research as well as funding and compilation of research teams. He was the CEO of BBS between May 2012 – October 2019.
PhD Ilkka Kangasniemi started as the CEO of the company on 15 October, 2019. Dr. Kangasniemi is experienced in commercialization and development of biomaterials and has been in the board and management of several biotech companies.
The bone extract from reindeer bone has proved to be more effective in bone formation than the bone extracts from other domestic animals. The logical explanation to this phenomenon is the fact that reindeer in itself is a bone factory growing antlers (even 30% of body weight) and shedding them every year. This ability seems to reflect the whole skeletal system of reindeer. Thus the ecological raw material is fully natural and renewable.
Soon it was evident that the findings could be utilized in bone healing. A product development project was set up aiming at a development of bone substitute based on bone extract from reindeer bones mimicking demineralized bone matrix (DBM) products.