Regeneus Ltd (ASX: RGS) announced today that the Australian Football League (AFL) has granted case-by-case approval for the use of its innovative stem cell therapy, HiQCell® as a treatment option for injured AFL players, typically including impact related osteoarthritis and tendonitis.
Regeneus’ Commercial Development Director for Human Health, Steve Barbera, said, “It’s pleasing that HiQCell has been approved under the new AFL Prohibited Treatments List released in March 2014. HiQCell also received clearance as an approved therapy from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) for use with athletes who participate in sporting competitions subject to the WADA Anti-Doping Code, including the AFL. This recent decision by the AFL demonstrates a further level of compliance, specifically for players within that sporting code”.
HiQCell is the only stem cell treatment for osteoarthritis that has undergone the highest level of clinical scrutiny – a double blind placebo-controlled safety trial. The clinical trial demonstrated that HiQCell is safe and treatment reduces pain and halts cartilage degradation in arthritic joints. In addition to the placebo controlled trial, the ongoing effect of HiQCell is being tracked in over 380 patients in an independent ethics approved registry. A recent registry update demonstrates that patients are maintaining significant improvements at 2 years post-treatment.
Regeneus is encouraged that elite sports patients are able to accelerate their return from hard to treat injuries and continue their playing careers after receiving the innovative HiQCell therapy. HiQCell has also been used to treat a number of elite and high-profile athletes across several sporting codes, including the NRL, as announced on 7 May 2014.
Dr Phil Bloom, a Melbourne based Specialist Sports and Exercise Physician and HiQCell treating medical practitioner, said, “permission from the AFL for HiQCell treatment is a positive progression as it allows for an additional option for players with conditions that are unresponsive to existing treatments”.
The HiQCell treatment involves harvesting a small amount of a patient’s own stem cells from their adipose (fat) tissue and after separating and concentrating the regenerative cells these are re-injected in osteoarthritic-affected joints such as knees, hips and ankles. The HiQCell treatment, which aims to reduce inflammation and repair damaged tissue is carried out under the supervision of the treating medical practitioner.
The AFL’s approval was reported in Fairfax media outlets including the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald on 23 August 2014.