Biotechnology focusing on regenerative medicine is making huge strides and setting foot in more countries around the world, this time courtesy of Orthocell (ASX: OCC), a small-cap Perth-based biotech company focusing on regenerating mobility for patients.
Earlier today, Orthocell was granted a key Canadian patent which helps Orthocell retain its intellectual property (IP) relating to tendon regeneration cells (tenocytes) for its Ortho-ATI product, and brings its total number of granted patents for the company to 31.
The grant means that Orthocell will see its IP protected within Canada until at least 2027 and provides additional protections for Orthocell’s tendon repair applications, already granted in the USA, EU, Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Orthocell was also granted a patent for suture-less soft tissue repair, securing IP rights for its CelGro platform last month.
Orthocell’s portfolio of products include TGA-licensed cell therapies Autologous Tenocyte Implantation (Ortho-ATI) and Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (Ortho-ACI), which aim to regenerate damaged tendon and cartilage tissue.
Its other major product is CelGro, a collagen medical device which facilitates tissue repair and healing in a variety of orthopaedic, reconstructive and surgical applications.
Orthocell has already received European regulatory approval (otherwise known as the CE Mark) for CelGro. The collagen medical device can now be marketed and sold within the European Union for a range of dental bone and soft tissue regeneration procedures and is being prepared for first approval in the United States, expected to occur sometime later this year.
Earlier this month, Orthocell Managing Director Paul Andersen showcased the company’s commercial ability, path to market and time horizon for developing its set of applications, at the annual Biotech Showcase in San Francisco.
According to Orthocell, obtaining worldwide IP protection underpins the international rollout of Ortho-ATI in key jurisdictions and is a key first step towards Orthocell monetising its wide-ranging set of biotech applications and treatments.
“Orthocell has now secured patent protection for tendon repair across all the key jurisdictions globally. Securing a full suite of tenocyte patent protection ensures Orthocell is well positioned to drive its novel world leading tendon repair product into the global market,” said Orthocell Managing Director Paul Anderson.
“Orthocell will continue to focus on building and maintaining patent protection for its other regenerative medicine technologies and treatment processes,” he added.
How the Ortho-ATI procedure works
Ortho-ATI requires a biopsy procedure using a local anaesthetic, where a small piece of tendon is harvested from a healthy tendon, typically the patella tendon.
The biopsied tissue is then sent to Orthocell’s state-of-the-art laboratory for tenocytes (tendon building blocks) to be grown to a clinically significant number required.
The cells are then implanted into the affected tissue approximately 4-5 weeks following the initial biopsy.
One huge advantage Orthocell hopes to establish over other treatments is the non-invasive nature of all its biotech applications. According to Orthocell, all injections can be carried out by a local doctor with the patient having full mobility at all times during the procedure(s).
As part of its mission to inform the world of how and why it has developed its range of biotechnologies, Orthocell put out an e-book titled ‘Orthocell’s Ortho-ATI: Ortho-ATI’, penned by Paul Andersen and Jerome Waddell and available on Google Play and iTunes.
In the book, the authors provide detailed insights into Orthocell’s methodology and how its treatments could potentially change the tide in how seemingly unrepairable tendons can be treated with regenerative biotechnology.
Orthocell’s technology could have the capability to repair damaged or degenerate tendons for both younger and older patients and could offer a new lease of life for many despondent patients suffering from chronic immobility.