Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, presenting with thinning of cartilage on the articulating joint surface, which can lead to constant pain and stiffness in the affected joint. The joint pain experienced with OA can lead to a decreased level of function and overall quality of life. Researchers in Australia recently conducted a study to investigate a new novel cell therapy as a potential treatment option for joint OA.
The recent article published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, explored the efficacy of a specific treatment option known as Progenza (PRG) on 20 participants ranging from 40-65 years of age with mild to moderate OA. The treatment consisted of a single intraarticular injection of Progenza, a new novel injectate composed of culture expanded MSCs and cell culture supernatant. This study is the first human trial for such injectate and was conducted to determine the safety and tolerability of the treatment.
The study found encouraging results supporting PRG as a safe and tolerable treatment. While all patients reported at least one adverse effect from the treatment, most were considered mild and unrelated to PRG itself, and deemed to be secondary to the procedure. Patients undergoing the treatment showed clinically significant improvement in pain scores at all follow up points (3, 6, 9, 12 months). In addition, when cartilage volume on MRI was compared between initial screening and 12 month follow up, the PRG 3.9M group showed no decrease in average lateral tibial cartilage volume, while the placebo group showed a statistically significant cartilage loss, suggesting that PRG could be a potential injectable treatment to minimize cartilage loss over time with OA.
While the initial findings are promising, the researchers recognized that Progenza was still in its preliminary testing stages. The researchers suggested further research on the safety and efficacy of PRG, especially considering that the study was limited in its number of participants.