Pharmaceutical International News - July 2012
Stem Cell-Based Arthritis Treatment Trial
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 12/07/2012 - 06:20:00
Australian researchers are working on a stem cell extraction technique that could soon produce a viable new osteoarthritis drug treatment.
The technique involves stem cells extracted from body fat. After these stem cells have been injected, new healthy cartilage and tissue develops, replacing the areas affected by the debilitating condition.
Already, the method has been successful in animal-based trials. Now, the researchers involved think that, if scaled up to humans, the process could give osteoarthritis patients up to 20 more years without the need for joint repairs and, possibly, prevent the spread of osteoarthritis altogether.
Stem Cell Arthritis Treatment
An initial human-based stem cell arthritis treatment trial has recently take place but the results of this won't be known until next year. However, 40 patients participated and the trial was staged at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.
The entire process takes approximately 180 minutes from start to finish. First, liposuction is used to extract seven ounces of fat from the stomach. Then, the stem cells are harvested and, finally, put back into the body via injection.
According to a representative from Sydney Sportsmed Specialists, which is partnering biotechnology firm Regeneus in this research, immediate pain relief results were recorded straight away, while functionality started to improve after a week or so.
Arthritis Treatment Trials
"In some patients we've been able to show around 30 per cent cartilage regeneration after six months", Sydney's Doctor Diana Robinson stated in comments on the arthritis treatment trials quoted by Body and Soul Online.
"There are six million people in the UK in constant pain from osteoarthritis", Arthritis Care's chief executive, Judith Brodie, told the Daily Express. "This new stem cell therapy, if the trials continue to show success, could be transformational. While the long-term effects are unknown, and there should be caution due to the early stage of development, Arthritis Care welcomes progress in treating this painful condition."
In March 2012, Pharma News reported on low-cost osteoarthritis drug Protelosa. This, if widely introduced, has the potential to radically reduce the cost of treating arthritis patients.
Image copyright J. Lengerke - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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