Anika Therapeutics (NSDQ:ANIK) touted data today from a study evaluating the use of its Hyalofast biodegradable, hyaluronic acid-based scaffold in combination with autologous adult mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment for cartilage lesions in the knee.
The study, which was published in Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy, showed that the treatment was equally effective among patients, regardless of age.
The study evaluated 40 patients with full thickness cartilage lesions of the knee. All participants were implanted with Hyalofast soaked in bone marrow aspirate concentrate with stem cells. Researchers evaluated the patients for four years.
The company reported that functional outcomes significantly improved in both groups of patients, regardless of age. Outcomes were impacted by size and quantity of lesions, Anika said.
“Cartilage lesions are reported in almost two out of three patients aged 40 to 50 years who are undergoing knee arthroscopy, and current interventions for cartilage repair have limited utility, in part due to the age-related decrease in regenerative potential of articular chondrocytes observed in vitro,” CEO Charles Sherwood said in prepared remarks. “This study shows that we may be able to fill a significant treatment gap in the management of cartilage defects among older patients, and offer a more convenient and cost-effective alternative or adjunct to traditional, invasive approaches such as microfracture with Hyalofast.”
“We’re encouraged by the results of this long-term study that shows the potential clinical utility of combining stem cells with the Hyalofast biodegradable hyaluronic acid-based scaffold to treat cartilage defects in a simple one-step procedure,” lead author Alberto Gobbi added. “One of the key learnings from our four-year follow-up was that cartilage lesion size and quantity might be a better indicator for surgery than advanced age, which we concluded did not impact outcomes associated with the use of stem cells and Hyalofast.”