Set to begin in the second quarter of 2016, the primary objective of the 25-patient study is to demonstrate the safety and tolerability of Celgro when used as a collagen matrix treatment for osteochondral defects in the hip. The treatment is known as autologous matrix-induced chondrocyte (AMIC) and is an enhanced version of the original micro fracture technique, in which a type I/III collagen matrix is placed over a cartilage defect to stabilise the fragile bone marrow cell infiltrate and provide infrastructure for tissue repair and regeneration.
“Celgro SMRT Graft is a novel biological device that has the potential to augment AMIC treatment for osteochondral defects within the hip,” said principal investigator Dr John O’Donnell, referring to the product’s characteristics of cell compatibility, tensile strength and the ability to actively promote and guide quality tissue ingrowth and repair. “The unique properties of Celgro SMRT Graft may provide a more effective repair than currently available treatments.”
The news comes just two days after the company received an R&D tax incentive refund of over $1.5 million for the financial year 2014–15. Managing director Paul Anderson noted that the refund “increases our operational runway at a time when the company is actively driving further clinical trials” in Celgro, as well as its cellular therapy for tendon regeneration, Ortho-ATI, in a range of applications.
Orthocell (ASX:OCC) shares were trading 1.21% higher at $0.42 as of around 11 am on Wednesday.