TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- CartiHeal (2009), Ltd, a privately held medical device company, focused on developing and bringing to market a proprietary, off-the-shelf, and cell-free cartilage regeneration technology, announced that it raised $5 million in venture funding from two US-Israeli venture capital firms, Accelmed and Access Medical Ventures. The financing will be used to prepare its first product launch early 2013 in Europe.
The Agili-CTM is a “cell-free” implant that can be implanted in a single step arthroscopic procedure, and is indicated for the treatment of cartilage and osteochondral defects. Histology performed by NAMSA has demonstrated that the Agili-CTM regenerates true hyaline cartilage after 6 months in preclinical studies. The ability to regenerate hyaline cartilage, rather than ‘hyaline-like” cartilage, in a single stage procedure, without the use of exogenous cells or growth factors, is considered the Holy Grail in cartilage repair. The Agili-CTM is CE marked and the company is currently running post-marketing clinical studies at leading centers in Europe and Israel.
There are approximately 1.2 million cartilage repair procedures performed annually world-wide, according to BioMedGPS. The most common treatments for cartilage injuries (e.g., microfracture and osteochondral grafting) are only palliative and fall short since they do not result in regeneration of hyaline cartilage. As a result, young patients with cartilage defects run the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis at an earlier age. Today, due to lack of good alternatives, the most common options for these patients is joint replacement. The Agili-CTM offers a promising alternative for patients with cartilage disorders, since it has the potential to heal the defect at an early stage by regenerating new cartilage and halting further joint degeneration.
“Our CE marked Agili-CTM implant represents a true breakthrough in the field of cartilage regeneration,” reports Nir Altschuler, Founder and CEO of CartiHeal. “No other technology has shown such promising results in being able to regenerate true hyaline cartilage in a single arthroscopic procedure. Our clinical results, to date, confirm rapid cartilage and bone formation, as clearly visible on MRIs and X-rays. Patients are reporting significant improvement in pain level and return to normal function, including sports. Since the Agili-CTM allows nearly immediate load bearing, post-operative rehabilitation is very fast. The additional funding will allow us to collect more clinical data and prepare for a European launch next year.”
Founded in 2009, at Incentive, Peregrine Ventures incubator, CartiHeal is a privately held medical device company that develops proprietary implants for the regeneration of cartilage and bone disorders following sports injuries, trauma or degenerative joint changes, such as osteoarthritis. CartiHeal is a spin-out of the Department of Biotechnology Engineering at Ben-Gurion University, Israel.