Cell therapy has traditionally been used in cancer and cardiac treatments, but Pluristem is now applying the technology to sports-related injuries, where it has seen an increased interest among athletes and orthopedic surgeons.
New York Knicks players Amar’e Stoudemire and Jason Kidd pursued stem cell microfracture surgery to replace cartilage, and now Pluristem is pursuing better clinical evidence to determine if this treatment can benefit patients with chronic tendonitis resulting in rotator cuff injuries, the company reported.
This is Pluristem’s second major research venture in orthopedics, after their positive clinical trials demonstrating efficacy of this treatment in hip replacement surgery. Sports medicine represents a $2.2 billion industry, according to MarketWire.
In 2011, the market opened up for cell therapy when Geron Corp.’s (NSDQ:GERN) announced its plans to leave the stem cell game. In addition to Pluristem, big players in the field now include InVivo Therapeutics (OTC:NVIV), Aastrom Biosciences (NSDQ:ASTM), StemCells (NSDQ:STEM).