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Millions Raised for Cartilage Regeneration Technology

Millions Raised for Cartilage Regeneration Technology

January 15, 2016

Medical Research, Press Releases

CartiHeal Ltd., developer of a cell-free, off-the-shelf cartilage and bone regeneration device developed by Nir Altschuler at Ben-Gurion University has raised $15 million. The funds will be used to promote ongoing manufacturing scale-up, plan for initial European commercialization in 2017 and expand clinical studies to new therapeutic areas.

CartiHeal is a spin off of research done at BGU’s Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering.

Millions of people injure cartilage in their knees, ankles, shoulders, and other joints every year. Cartilage injury is often associated with pain that adversely affects lifestyle and activity levels. Furthermore, a cartilage injury, if left untreated, may lead to degenerative changes and progression of osteoarthritis.

Commonly used treatments for cartilage injuries, such as debridement or microfracture, generate mostly fibrocartilage as opposed to native hyaline cartilage. This results in an inferior tissue that does not have adequate biomechanical properties or the ability to withstand long-term weight-bearing forces.

“The Agili-C™ implant has demonstrated outstanding ability to reproducibly regenerate hyaline cartilage,” says CartiHeal founder and chief executive officer Nir Altschuler. “Agili-C™ enables biological resurfacing of cartilage and its underlying subchondral bone through a tissue regeneration process. The device is suitable for a wide range of pathologies from focal traumatic lesions to moderate stages of osteoarthritis.

“We believe that it will provide a good solution for a vast unmet need, especially for patients with osteoarthritis who do not respond to conservative treatment while their condition is not severe enough to justify full joint replacement. This investment will position CartiHeal as a significant player in the treatment of early osteoarthritis.”

CartiHeal’s cell free and off-the-shelf implant – Agili-C™ – has been successfully implanted in nearly 200 patients throughout Europe and obtained CE (European Union) approval. Agili-C™ is indicated for the treatment of cartilage and osteochondral defects in degenerative and non-degenerative lesions. Results from procedures in the knee, ankle and big toe indicate regeneration of hyaline cartilage and its underlying subchondral bone, as well as significant improvement in pain levels and reduction of related symptoms.

The investment was led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc. together with CartiHeal’s existing investors: Elron, Accelmed, Access Medical Ventures, and Peregrine Ventures.

About CartiHeal

CartiHeal, a privately held medical device company headquartered in Israel, is a pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine, providing simple and effective solutions for both degenerative and non-degenerative articular cartilage lesions. The company was founded by Nir Altschuler and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Backed by extensive clinical evidence, its flagship product – Agili-C™, has shown to promote regeneration of true hyaline cartilage and its underlying subchondral bone, simultaneously, without the use of cells, growth factors or other exogenous agents. The CE marked implant is a rigid bi-phasic scaffold composed of biocompatible and biodegradable materials. www.cartiHeal.com.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) celebrates its 50th birthday this year, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications