ProChon Biotech has reported a major expansion of its clinical study of the BioCart cartilage regeneration system. The randomised, double-arm, open-label, multicenter phase II study compares the safety and efficacy of the BioCart system to microfracture for the treatment of symptomatic cartilage defects.

ProChon will have ten clinical study sites in the US and Israel by end of this year.

According to the company, BioCart is an autologous chondrocyte implant system that is a safe, minimally invasive implant for long-term articular cartilage regeneration stemming from joint cartilage defects and injuries. The system is commercially available in Greece and Israel and the company has established a cell processing facility in Italy.

The company claims that microfracture allows the body’s own bone marrow stem cells to ‘fill-in’ a defect, producing a scar tissue patch. This effectively repairs the damaged site and aids in protecting the adjacent cartilage from progressive damage. But the BioCart System is a cartilage transplantation technology that utilises chondrocyte preservation technology (CPT).

Patrick O’Donnell, chief executive officer of ProChon, said: “The expansion of the BioCart clinical program represents an important step towards validating the potential of this promising technology. We believe that the BioCart technology addresses some of the major limitations associated with microfracture procedures as well as current generation autologous cartilage cell transplantation technologies. We look forward to working with our esteemed clinical investigators and furthering this important clinical trial.”