UK Clinical Trial set to Begin with a Stem Cell “Bandage” Meniscus Repair
Stem Cell “Bandage” Meniscus Trial Set (Biloine Young @ OTW)
A British company, the developer of what it calls a “stem cell bandage” which is designed to heal torn meniscal cartilage, is subjecting its technology to a human clinical trial. The trial, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, is made possible by an investment by Sun Capital in Azellon Cell Therapeutics, Ltd., a company spun-off from the University of Bristol in England. The company has received approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the trial.
Developers of the Azellon’s Cell Bandage say it is designed as an alternative to the current treatment of surgical removal of the meniscus (meniscectomy), a procedure that more than 1.7 million people around the world undergo. They claim that this orthopedic procedure often results in the early onset of osteoarthritis, leading to further joint surgery including total knee replacement.
The Cell Bandage, according to company officials in a November 14, 2011 press release, will be grown from the patient’s own stem cells and will be transplanted in the patient’s knee joint within two weeks of extracting the stem cells from bone marrow. The MHRA approved Phase I/IIa trial will treat ten meniscal tear patients with a cell bandage product, seeded with the patient’s own stem cells. The trial will be undertaken at Southmead Hospital in Bristol and is scheduled to begin in May 2012. Interim data is expected to be available within 18 months.