Orthocell's new technique is known as Autologous Tenocyte Implantation (Ortho-ATIT) and involves biopsy of the patient's own healthy tendon, isolation and cultivation of tendon stem cells from the biopsy in a special laboratory and then injection of these cells back to the injured tendon. The process takes about 20-minutes and is less invasive than surgery.
The company has received international profiling and recognition in the prestigious American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM), with a peer reviewed publication of the world first study on Ortho-ATIT stem cell technology for regeneration of damaged human tendon.
The AJSM, which is ranked as the world's number one journal for orthopaedics and sports medicine, published outcomes of the clinical trial last week. The data demonstrates that Orthocell's novel technology for repairing tendons was a safe and effective procedure that enables a reduction in pain and repairs tendon in severe chronic resistant tendon injury, like tennis elbow. The patients treated in the study, had failed at least one previous therapy including physiotherapy and corticosteroid injection. Patients achieved significant improvement in function and structural integrity of the tendon after the Ortho-ATIT tendon stem cell injection.
Orthocell Managing Director Paul Anderson said the clinical study indicates great potential for the Ortho-ATIT stem cell tendon repair.
"The AJSM paper is a benchmark study that validates the repair of tendon using tendon derived stem cells. We are now focussing our efforts on offering this world class treatment more widely to patients throughout Australasia, and we are also investigating new potential markets overseas," said Mr Anderson.
The technique was the result of more than 10 years development by Professor Ming Hao Zheng's group at the Centre for Translational Orthopaedic Research at the University of Western Australia, one of the top one hundred universities in the World.
"This is a very exciting body of work, which is indicated for a large patient population. There are currently limited treatment options for people suffering from tendon injury and related disorders, as there are no targeted drug therapies and surgery often delivers unsatisfactory results. This published study of Ortho-ATIT strongly suggested that substitution of tendon stem cells enables regeneration of tendon," said Professor Zheng.
Amanda Redwood, a 45-year-old mother of two who participated in the trial, said Orthocell's treatment relieved her of severe elbow pain within 6 months.
"I experienced debilitating symptoms of tennis elbow for more than 16-months before I had the procedure. Within 6 weeks of the injection the pain started to subside, and within 6 months it was gone. As a result of this condition I was unable to play tennis and netball with my 2 girls and I could barely lift anything without severe pain, not even a glass of water. It made even the most menial of tasks difficult, so I am delighted that I've been able to make a full recovery so quickly, without surgery."said Ms Redwood.
Ortho-ATIT has been approved by the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia. The technology is currently available to patients in Australia who have failed conservative treatment. More information about treatment options can be obtained by contacting Orthocell directly or visiting the company website.