Orthocell receives clinical study approval

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Shares in Orthocell could receive a boost on Wednesday after the company was granted ethical approval by St Vincent Hospital, Melbourne for a clinical study using its proprietary Celgro SMRT collagen scaffold technology for the treatment and augmentation of articular cartilage surgeries of the hip.

The clinical study will aim to demonstrate that Celgro can be used as an augment to hip cartilage surgery and is a safe and tolerable treatment.

In basic terms, this involves the placement over the cartilage defect to stabilise the fragile bone narrow cell infiltrate, providing infrastructure for tissue repair and regeneration. The study will involve 25 patients.

Other clinical studies using the same technology involved shoulder repairs and bone regeneration within the jaw.

Orthocell is of the view that Celgro has the potential to address unmet clinical needs in the orthopaedic and general surgical soft tissue repair market. Management said the global orthopaedic soft tissue repair market was worth approximately US$7 billion in 2013 and is expected to be worth more than US$10 billion by 2020, no doubt supported by an ageing population.

While trials such as these usually have long lead times in terms of generating earnings, Orthocell’s portfolio of products also include TGA approved stem cell therapies Autologous Tenocyte Implantation and Autologous Chondracyte Implantation which aim to regenerate damaged tendon and cartilage tissue.

Orthocell’s share price has hovered in the vicinity of 40 cents between February and April after trading as high as 99 cents in July 2015.

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