Recently, two pharmaceutical companies, Genzyme Corporation and Osiris Therapeutics,
announced that they have joined to develop two adult stem cell treatments. These medications, known as Prochymal and Chondrogen, may be a valuable resource to treat a wide variety of conditions. Benefits from these treatments may include control of inflammation, development of tissue regeneration and prevention of scar formation.
Clinical trials for Prochymal are currently underway for Crohn’s disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute myocardial infarction. Chondrogen, to interest of those injured workers suffering from persistent knee pain, is in clinical trials to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.
Genzyme is no stranger to development of treatments for knee injuries. In fact, the company developed and commercialized the first-ever cell therapy product approved by the FDA, Carticel, used in knee cartilage repair. Genzyme’s products also include Synvisc, used to address the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. The hope is that Chondrogen can not only treat the osteoarthritic knee pain, but also may be able to actually cure the disease.