Cytonics.

Supported by hundreds of physicians across the United States, Cytonics is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, and is well positioned to disrupt the space with its innovative biologic therapies for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a crippling disease that is caused by the breakdown of cartilage within joints.

In healthy joints – for example, those in the knee and elbow – there are certain proteins charged with the task of ‘cleaning up’ the joint fluid. These proteins, called proteases, digest the little bits of cartilage that float around in the joint fluid as part of natural cartilage degeneration.

When these proteases become overactive, however, they take to the task of cleaning up too aggressively, chewing up healthy cartilage that is still attached to the bone.

While the exact cause of osteoarthritis remains unknown, it is more often found in joints that have been injured, for example following an ACL tear, and joints that have experienced more wear and tear due to age.

How do you treat Osteoarthritis?

More than 30 million people are treated for arthritis-related pain in the United States alone, placing a $185 billion burden on the nation’s healthcare system and economy.

Despite its high prevalence within society, the current standards of care for osteoarthritis are merely palliative. Typically corticosteroids, NSAIDs and hyaluronic acid are used as first-line treatments to address the significant symptoms of osteoarthritis (pain and inflammation), but not the cause (cartilage breakdown).

Corticosteroids are prescribed to subside the inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, but they do this at the expense of the immune system, rendering the patient vulnerable to infection by viruses or bacteria.

NSAIDs, such as Tylenol, are used to address acute pain, but do so at the expense of liver toxicity.

In extreme cases, hyaluronic acid may be injected into the joint to increase the strength of the cartilage. However, this only provides only temporary relief with a half-life of 12-30 hours.

To provide any kind of relief to osteoarthritis sufferers, these treatments have to be administered routinely – at high expense to the patient, and with no small side effects.

What is Cytonics’ Solution?

With the understanding that the existing way of dealing with osteoarthritis was just not up to par, Cytonics worked on creating an alternative therapy that would address the root cause of osteoarthritis, not just the symptoms.

In developing its recombinant Alpha-2-Macroglobulin (A2M), Cytonics was able to address this root cause, effectively dealing with cartilage damage as a result of injury, or naturally occurring as part of the aging process.

How does it do this?

By inhibiting all of the classes of proteases that degrade cartilage, Cytonics’ APIC A2M therapy has been proven to slow and eventually halt the progression of osteoarthritis, relieving patients of joint pain and inflammation.

In order to halt the progression of osteoarthritis and bring about significant pain relief, sufferers only need one to two injections per year.

It’s also worth noting that as Cytonics’ recombinant A2M is very similar to the natural A2M found in the body, it is not recognised as a foreign substance, meaning it offers an excellent safety profile.

This APIC A2M therapy has been used to treat more than 6,000 patients, and is considered a revolutionary technology in the regenerative medicine community.

 

So, why aren’t the big pharmaceuticals taking the same approach?

 

When it comes to treating osteoarthritis, large pharmaceutical companies have long adopted a very narrow approach.

For the most part, Big Pharma has tried to create a treatment for osteoarthritis by imitating the treatment used to deal with rheumatoid arthritis. However, unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis does not have a single cause. Its cause is multi-faceted.

As osteoarthritis is much more complex, a successful therapeutic treatment would have to inhibit multiple targets instead of just one.

 

 

 

While Big Pharma focuses elsewhere, the Cytonics lab has been able to develop a treatment using an A2M that is a proven broad spectrum inhibitor of all proteins that could potentially cause osteoarthritis.

It’s also worth noting that another reason why Big Pharma hasn’t developed a therapeutic like Cytonics’ is that their focus has historically been on developing small molecule drugs (pills), rather than biologic therapies like Cytonics’ recombinant A2M.

 

How does Cytonics’ therapy work?

 

The company’s breakthrough technology is based upon a naturally occurring molecule within the body. This molecule, A2M, is found within our joints and blood to provide a defence against the excessive breakdown of cartilage.

As the A2M in our body is found in low concentrations within the joints, it is unable to fully protect against the progression of osteoarthritis in damaged and aged joints.

Cytonics has developed two medical devices that purify and concentrate the A2M in patients’ blood, using a system where the blood is drawn, then injected back into the affected joint in a more concentrated dose.

The results of the treatment are typically observed within hours or days of the procedure, and usually last six to 12 months.

Cytonics is also currently pursuing FDA clinical trials for a pharmaceutical ‘recombinant’ version of its A2M therapy (CYT-108). This will not only be manufactured in a lab and produced at an industrial scale, it will also be more effective at treating osteoarthritis due to increased concentrations and efficacy.

 

Image credits & copyright Cytonics

 

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