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11.8 million CHF for medical trials of novel arthritis restore

11.8 million CHF for medical trials of novel arthritis restore

2023-11-21 03:08:01

Preparation of a patient for a knee surgery
Osteoarthritis of the knee is related to ache and, in the end, in lots of circumstances a prosthesis. Nonetheless, researchers now present that cultured cartilage cells from the nasal septum may assist. (Picture: College of Basel, Christian Flierl)

Swiss government and European Union award 11.8 million CHF for next generation clinical trials of novel arthritis repair. The researchers at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, are actively recruiting for clinical trials.

15 November 2023

The Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel, have announced that it delivered the first surgical procedure to treat Osteoarthritis (OA) in humans. The procedure called Nasal Chondrocyte Tissue-Engineered Cartilage, or N-TEC, provides an innovative alternative to cure confined knee cartilage lesions as well as to address degenerative OA cases that have to date required knee joint replacements – prosthetics that routinely need replacing after 15-20 years.

The team at Basel is spearheading the next-generation human clinical trials that will take place at multiple sites across Europe, including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Sweden, Austria and Poland. The Swiss government and EU have awarded the N-TEC program $13.1 million (11.8 million CHF) in funding for these OA clinical trials – and the team is continuing to seek additional funding to expand these trials and deliver this promising regenerative OA treatment to joints other than knees. These clinical trials are open to qualified patients from around the world, including the United States.

Human articular cartilage defects may be handled with cells taken from the nasal septum. (Picture: College of Basel, Christian Flierl)

According to the U.S. government, there are 2.5 million* joint replacement surgeries in the United States each year and even more patients are looking for alternatives to delay or avoid a prosthesis. Chondrocytes are the cell building blocks for cartilage and the University of Basel team is using them to grow new cartilage. Implantation of this tissue engineered cartilage graft in cartilage defects of the knee could represent an alternative for all patients that need more than simple pain management, but do not want a prosthesis. N-TEC is not appropriate for treating rheumatoid arthritis. The N-TEC current trials will focus only on patellafemeral OA, rather than full knee OA.

The N-TEC procedure was developed by an interdisciplinary research team headed by biomedical engineer Professor Ivan Martin, PhD, director of the Department of Biomedicine, and Dr. Marcus Mumme, MD, senior physician of orthopaedics at the University Children Hospital Basel.

Regenerative Medicine Real in the Clinic Today

Moving beyond trials in the lab and in animals, N-TEC has already taken regenerative medicine in cartilage injury treatment from a lab concept to real clinical success in humans. Leading an international clinical trial with five centres in Europe, the University of Basel team has successfully treated more than 100 patients for focal lesions – 2 to 8 cm2 dimensions – in the knee since 2012, and those patients have already returned to robust sporting activity, including skiing and running half marathons.

Expanding beyond focal lesions six years ago, the University of Basel team treated two patients with advanced knee OA – patients who had been scheduled for knee joint replacement. Those patients, treated with N-TEC and correction of the leg axis, have reported beneficial outcomes (standardized, self-assessed questionnaires) and are still able to perform daily life activities six years postoperative, without the need to resort to artificial joint replacement. 

Moving to address OA and cartilage defects in other joints, the University of Basel team is conducting human clinical trials focused on Patella-Femoral OA (PFOA) in the knee and cartilage lesions in the ankle and shoulder joints. They will kick off trials in the elbow joint in 2024.

Importantly, nasal cartilage is comprised of neural crest-derived cells – the kind of cells that create larger functioning organs, such because the mind and eyes. These cells are superior to cells from different physique components within the regenerative capability and within the so-called environmental plasticity – specifically, the power to adapt to totally different environments and circumstances. Specifically, nasal chondrocytes, even from older donors, may be reproducibly used to engineer N-TEC cartilage patches that possess structural and mechanical properties typical of articular cartilage tissues.

“N-TEC has demonstrated overwhelming success in human medical research thus far,” mentioned Ivan Martin, PhD, Professor of Tissue Engineering on the Division of Biomedicine, College of Basel and College Hospital Basel.  “Due to beneficiant public funding and cooperation with different excellent groups, we are going to now lengthen medical trials to research N-TEC in more difficult circumstances in order that sometime it could actually turn out to be a mainstream bed-side process for a lot of sufferers affected by joint ache induced by cartilage loss.”

“The superb N-TEC process is funded by grants from the Swiss Nationwide Science Basis and the European Union – and personal donors can step as much as donate and speed up N-TEC’s path to the bedside,” mentioned Steve O’Keeffe, founder, Indignant@Arthritis, a non-profit targeted on attacking and eliminating osteoarthritis, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, in america. “When the physician instructed me I had arthritis it felt like my life as I knew it was over. The group on the College of Basel are offering people like us with new hope. They really impressed me to arrange Indignant@Arthritis – and begin my journey towards discovering and funding cures for OA.”

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