Q&A: USC researchers uncover potential osteoarthritis treatment breakthrough with R805/CX-011

The left image depicts osteoarthritic cartilage damage in animal studies without any treatment, while the right image reveals articular cartilage regeneration following a knee injection of the novel drug R805/CX-011. [Image: Evseenko Lab/USC Stem Cell]

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered a drug compound, R805/CX-011, with the potential to alleviate the painful hyperinflammation from osteoarthritis. The findings concerning the prospective osteoarthritis treatment breakthrough, published in Science Translational Medicine, showed positive effects in animal models and could pave the way for human trials.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Denis Evseenko, a professor of orthopedic surgery, stem cell research, and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, about the research. In the Q&A, Dr. Evseenko discusses the poten…

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Vericel’s unique biopharma focus: Tackling unmet needs in sports medicine and burn treatment

Vericel (Nasdaq:VCEL), a biopharma focused on sports medicine and severe burn care therapies, has a portfolio including the cartilage repair treatment MACI and the burn treatments Epicel and NexoBrid.

Focal cartilage defects, which occur in approximately 60% of arthroscopies, can lead to debilitating osteoarthritis if left untreated. Vericel’s flagship product, MACI, tackles this medical challenge head-on by enabling younger, active patients to avoid knee replacements. Harnessing the power of the patient’s own cells to repair cartilage damage, MACI halts the progression to osteoarthritis.

In the realm of burn care, Vericel’s Epicel serves as a permanent skin replacement for patients with severe burns, while NexoBrid is an enzymatic treatment designed to remove dead tissue from burn wounds. In a recent interview, Vericel CEO Nick Colangelo highlighted the company’s unique position in the market, noting the limited competition and signific…

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Why Medipost is upbeat about its stem cell-based treatment of osteoarthritis

Medipost has announced that its allogeneic human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cell product for knee osteoarthritis was featured in the peer-reviewed Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Seoul, Korea–headquartered company specializes in allogeneic umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells for various therapeutic applications.

Medipost’s Phase 3 study found that 97% of recipients of its Cartistem cellular therapeutic agent showed significant improvement in cartilage restoration after 48 weeks.

Participants in the study underwent a five-year observational follow-up.

More than a decade of Cartistem history

South Korean regulatory authorities approved Cartistem in January 2012, making it one of the world’s first companies to obtain approval for cell therapy.

Medipost is optimistic about the potential to expand the use of Cartistem, given the rising rates of knee osteoarthritis. “People are gett…

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EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ CEO on treating serious eye disorders and female leadership in life sciences

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EYPT) specializes in creating ocular products for serious eye disorders. The company has developed five FDA-approved sustained-release treatments in ophthalmology. The company’s preclinical development program is focused on drug candidates to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, osteoarthritis and other diseases.

The company was formed in 2018 after pSivida announced acquired Icon Bioscience.

To learn more about the company, we interviewed EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ president and CEO, Nancy S. Lurker, who is also an advisor to Novo Nordisk and serves on the board of directors for the company Aquestive Therapeutics.

In the following interview, Lurker touches on what inspires her as the CEO of EyePoint while also providing advice for women interested in pursuing leadership roles within the life sciences industry.

Nancy Lurker

Preventing bli…

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