Synthetic Cartilage Implant Designed to Restore Natural Joint Mechanics

July 19, 2013
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osteoarthritis(First Published in MedCityNews)

With an ongoing clinical trial and a new investment, startup Cartiva Inc. is well on its way to bringing a less invasive, motion-preserving alternative to joint fusion to patients in the U.S.

 

 

osteoarthritis(First Published in MedCityNews)

With an ongoing clinical trial and a new investment, startup Cartiva Inc. is well on its way to bringing a less invasive, motion-preserving alternative to joint fusion to patients in the U.S.

The Alpharetta, Georgia, company just landed a $4.3 million investment led by New Enterprise Associates. It will use the funds to continue its clinical study of a synthetic cartilage implant for patients with osteoarthritis, a chronic degenerative join disease characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage in the joint.

Cartiva SCI is made with a polyvinyl alcohol cryogel that mimics natural cartilage and provides flexible cushioning for natural joint movement. The implant is inserted through a small incision and placed in a pre-drilled hole in the bone, to resurface the damaged area of cartilage.

Last year the company began a clinical study with 236 patients to see how the implant worked in the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe. The study will measure pain, function and safety in comparison to a joint fusion, the current standard of care. The results are intended to support a Premarket Approval Application to the FDA, the company says.

A variety of options are available for the millions of Americans dealing with osteoarthritis, including cell therapies, tissue grafts and joint fusion. Cartiva still sees an opportunity for a product that’s less invasive than joint fusion, preserves natural joint function and doesn’t require significant removal of healthy tissue.

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The device has been approved in Canada, Europe and Brazil for nearly a decade and has been used primarily in treating osteoarthritis of the knee, the first MTP joint and the carpometacarpal joint in the wrist.

Carticept Medical, a company focused on making injections safer and more efficient, spun off Cartiva in December 2011. Other investors in the young company include Domain Associates and SonoSite Inc.

 

[Image credit: BigStock Photos]