Orthocell receives Australian patent for rotator cuff tendon injuries

THE ROADHOUSE PHARMACY: Orthocell Limited (ASX: OCC) has been granted an Australian patent covering use of biological materials to repair damaged tendons described as ‘Tenocyte Containing Bioscaffolds and Treatment Using the Same (PCT/AU2008/000583)’.

Orthocell explained the patents protect its intellectual property for the preparation of bioscaffolds and tendon stem cells to treat rotator cuff tears in a patient’s shoulder.

This intellectual property further protects Orthocell’s tendon regeneration technology known as autologous tenocyte implantation (or Ortho-ATI™).

“This is further validation of Orthocell’s innovation and leadership in the area of regenerative medicine and in particular the regeneration of human tendon tissue,” Orthocell managing director Paul Anderson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The patents relate to the methods Orthocell uses to:

Cultivate and grow a patient’s own tendon cells, known as tenocytes;

Seed a scaffold with the tenocytes; and

Implant the tenocyte-seeded bioscaffold close to the rotator cuff tear.

The company said the Australian patent around the process follows patents already granted in New Zealand, Singapore and China.

Rotator cuff tendon tear is a common injury caused by the overuse tendons in the shoulder that is most commonly seen in athletes and work-related and other overuse activities.

While surgical procedures can be effective in mechanically stabilising rotator cuff tendon tears, new ways to treat the injury are very much needed as success rates for mechanical stabilisation alone to repair failed repairs are very low.

Up to 40 per cent of rotator cuff stabilisation surgeries eventually fail as the underlying pathology of the tendon, including insufficient viable tendon repairing cells or tenocytes, are absent.

Orthocell claims its ATI technology in conjunction with a stabilisation will support repair and regeneration of the tendon.