Mumbai: Regenerative Medical Services Pvt. Ltd on Wednesday said that the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) recently approved its stem cell-based therapy to treat cartilage defects.

Chondron, its cartilage repair procedure, uses the body’s own cartilage cells that are cultured, multiplied and implanted into the patient’s damaged joint leading to new cartilage regeneration and avoiding the need for early joint replacement. This is the first stem cell-therapy product to be approved in India.

“We are creating new age cartilage regeneration procedure which optimizes the chances of healing due to the use of the body’s own cells. We will tie up with hospitals to promote it; we have received interest from around 200 hospitals," chief executive officer and managing director Yash Sanghavi said.

The company has capacity to culture 1,000-1,200 patient samples annually, which it plans to enhance to 10,000-12,000 samples in next three years, chief scientific officer Satyen Sanghavi, said.

The Mumbai-based company, started in 2009, has invested around Rs70-75 crore on development of Chondron and conducted clinical trials on 350 patients. It is looking to raise funds for capacity expansion and marketing of the cell therapy.

“We are looking to raise Rs40-50 crore through equity dilution and have already appointed bankers," Sanghavi said. The treatment, he said, is likely to cost around Rs2 lakh, which is almost the same or slightly lower than the price of a knee replacement surgery.

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