For pain associated with osteoarthritis of the metatarsophalangeal joint

Carticept Medical has reported that the first patient has been treated in an international, multi-center study of the company’s cartiva synthetic cartilage implant (SCI). The study aims to determine the effectiveness of Cartiva SCI in comparison to arthrodesis (joint fusion), for reducing the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.

Cartiva SCI is a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) cryogel device designed to mimic natural cartilage. The device is intended to maintain natural joint mechanics by repairing focal cartilage defects while minimising the resection of healthy tissue. Due to its similar properties to native cartilage, joint resurfacing with Cartiva SCI does not require replacement of the opposing surface.

The company said that Cartiva SCI is currently available in Canada, Europe and South America where it is primarily used for resurfacing of the MTP joint, the carpometacarpal joint and the knee.

Timothy Patrick, president and chief executive officer of Carticept, said: “Initiating patient enrollment is an important milestone for Carticept as we progress toward our goal of making this therapy commercially available to our first target patient population in the US those suffering from the pain and limited function associated with metatarsophalangeal osteoarthritis. Several thousand patients have been treated with Cartiva SCI outside the United States and we believe it is ideal not only for the toe, but also for other joints in the foot, as well as the knee and hand.”

Carticept expects to enroll 249 patients at 13 sites throughout Canada, the UK and the US.