An Australian biotechnology company, Mesoblast Limited, committed to the development of novel treatment for orthopedic conditions including the commercialization of unique adult stem cells to regenerate and repair bone and cartilage, has recently announced results of successful pre-clinical trial
The laboratory test involved a single injection of allogenic (being genetically different) adult stem cells (stem cells have ability to self-replicate and give rise to specialized cells) into post-menopausal osteoarthritis caused significant cartilage (a smooth shiny material that covers joints allowing them to glide easily as you move) regeneration and re-growth that lasted for at least six months. This study was carried on female sheep.
The outstanding results of the pre-clinical trial results indicate that mesoblasts (the middle germinal layer of an early embryo that develops into muscle and bone and cartilage other connective tissue) cells are able to support sustained regeneration of knee cartilages in post-menopausal osteoarthritis, an effect not seen with any other therapies adopted in treatment of osteoarthritis.
In 18 post-menopausal ewes osteoarthritis developed after removal of knee meniscus cartilage. After three months the awes (female sheep) were divided in to three groups. One group was evaluated for the extent of osteoarthritis development prior to treatment. The two other groups hyaluronic acid alone in one knee and hyaluronic acid plus the allogenic stem cells in another knee. Six months after the single injection, the knees that received stem cells had 20-25 percent thicker cartilage, as well as an expanded area of the cartilage lining, that lined the joint compared to knees injected with hyaluronic acid alone. The cartilage was rich in proteoglycan natural constituent of joint lining cartilage lining indicative of a successful regenerative process. In contrast, there was no significant improvement in knees injected with hylaronic acid alone after six months.Remember the trial was not carried on human beings but on ewes and the research is at primary stage and Mesobalst Limited is working on this project further. But this pre-clinical trial results shows that mesoblast stem cells product may be highly effective in treatment and re-growth of cartilage occurring due to post-menopausal osteoarthritis in women.
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