Bengaluru: For senior citizens struck by osteoarthritis, there is no specific proven treatment that can reverse the joint damage. However, Regenerative Medical Services Regrow, a biotechnology company, has found a solution after eight years of work in cell and tissue therapy. Chondron ACI, the country’s first cell therapy product, helps treat defects in the cartilage in the joints and was recently granted market authorisation by the union health ministry and Drug Control General of India (DCGI).
Company’s chief scientific officer and executive director Satyen Sanghavi said, “The technique of autologous chondrocyte implantation has been around in the US and Europe for a decade, but it has been missing in our country. With this technique, cartilage damage can be repaired after cultured cartilage is put back into one’s knees."
He said that just eight weeks ago, the company got the required approvals from the Cellular Biology Based Therapeutic Drug Evaluation Committee (CBTDEC), a technical evaluation committee. After going through layers of approvals, his team is now looking at funding to expand the reach of treatment.
“We have already been approached by 150-odd doctors and hospitals who want to adopt this treatment in place of replacements,” he claimed.
The procedure starts with 100-200 mg of cartilage being drawn from the patient. It is then taken into a temperature-controlled lab, where chondrocyte is drawn from the cartilage and cultured for 3-4 weeks. The culture is then implanted in the patient through a minimally invasive surgery. After the procedure, the patient needs around 6-8 weeks to get back to normal.
“Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, affecting over 15 million adults every year. The number is likely to escalate to over 60 million by 2025. Knee implants are expensive and the recovery of the cartilage is not fast. Chondron ACI has 97% success rate with faster recovery, as observed in over 4-5 lakh cases performed worldwide,” he said, adding that the recovery time is equal to any normal replacement surgery.