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NEW COMPANY DEVELOPS TECHNOLOGY FOR DAMAGED CARTILAGE

 SAN ANTONIO, Texas, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Surgeons soon will be able to effectively repair damaged cartilage in patients suffering disease or injury to their knees, hips or other joints, thanks to new technology -- a biodegradable implant -- being developed by OsteoBiologics, Inc., company officials announced today. Using the implant, surgeons can go beyond traditional treatments (such as removing damaged cartilage) and encourage regeneration of cartilage.
 The implant, developed by Drs. Kyriacos Athanasiou and Barbara Boyan at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), contains bioactive factors that enhance both the migration and development of cartilage-forming cells. The implant dissolves over time and is replaced by new cartilage. The implant can also be used to generate bone growth.
 "Because it has the same physical properties as cartilage, the implant would allow the patient to walk soon after the surgery and eventually regain use of the knee, hip or other affected joins," Dr. Boyan explained.
 According to OsteoBiologics President Dr. David Edwards, the implant could benefit millions of Americans suffering from injuries as well as from degenerative joint diseases.
 "This implant could have a dramatic impact on people who suffer sports-related injuries, including athletes who now would face the end of their careers because of cartilage-related injuries," said Dr. Athanasiou. "Since current treatment methods only remove damaged cartilage, rehabilitation is limited. With this implant, new cartilage is generated, so not only is recovery time greatly reduced, but full use of the affected joint will be restored."
 A companion technology, an arthroscopic indenter developed at the Health Science Center, measures the mechanical properties of cartilage and can "map" regions of the cartilage that need to be replaced with the implant.
 The Texas Research and Technology Foundation formed OsteoBiologics, Inc., to develop these technologies, said TRTF President Jay Campion. The company, which will be headquartered at the Texas Research Park, received initial funding from the VenTex Group and the Provost Fund, TRTF's for-profit venture capital activities.
 TRTF recruited Dr. David Edwards, a scientist-entrepreneur with 10 years' experience in start-up ventures, to head the company. Dr. Edwards founded Mycogen Corporation and served as director of Biotechnology at the Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of California, San Diego.
 Said Campion, "The formation of OsteoBiologics exemplifies TRTF's role in economic development through technology transfer. With orthopedic implants being one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide, the potential of the company is enormous."
 The TRTF was established in 1984 to create jobs through the commercialization of technology, and to serve as a catalyst for furthering high tech and bioscience research in San Antonio.
 -0- 5/12/93
 /CONTACT: Tammy Valentine or Donna Butler of Dublin-McCarter & Associates, 210-227-0221; or Jay Campion, president, Texas Research & Technology Foundation, 210-677-6000/


CO: OsteoBiologics, Inc. ST: Texas IN: MTC SU: PDT

CK -- NY065 -- 7589 05/12/93 12:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1993
Words:470
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