VietNamNet Bridge – Cartilatist, the first off-the-shelf medicine product made from stem cells in Vietnam, is the result of 10 years of research and development at the Stem Cell Institute at the HCM City University of Natural Sciences.
Currently, physicians mostly prescribe analgesics, hyaluronic acid
and neridronate for osteoarthritis. However, these only help ease
symptoms, reduce pain and control inflammation, but cannot help in
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, can improve some symptoms, but it is also ineffective after a long period of supervision.
Scientists have combined the PRP injection with stem cells. Recent publications show that mesenchymal stem cells and PRP have better effects in improving cartilage damage and VAS, the scale used to measure pain, than PRP alone.
stem cells selected for production are carried out under strict control
in accordance with GMP-WHO (good manufacturing practice – the World
Health Organization) guidances. The production cost is reasonable as
products are made in large quantities.
However, the method also has problems: the treatment effect is unstable, and stem cell quality significantly falls in elderly patients and those who suffer from chronic diseases. The treatment cost is very high.
The off-the-shelf stem cell therapy has been developed in an attempt to solve the problems. Scientists can find many advantages of the therapy.
The stem cells selected for production are carried out under strict control in accordance with GMP-WHO (good manufacturing practice – the World Health Organization) guidances. The production cost is reasonable as products are made in large quantities.
The Stem Cell Institute is focusing on Cartilatist, a stem cell product derived from human adipose tissue, used to treat osteoarthritis and degenerative spinal conditions.
Each treatment dose is contained in a small glass tube containing 5-10 million stem cells and stored at -40 to -860C. Adipose stem cells are collected and isolated and then proliferate under a special process which allows for selection of the most suitable stem cells.
The proliferation process runs in large bioreactors under strict control.
The Cartilatist technology completed at the pilot production level was transferred to the Van Hanh General Hospital Co., Ltd for commercial production in July 2018 in Vietnam and ASEAN member countries.
The Stem Cell Institute is now considering transferring the Cartilatist technology to the second partner in Europe to exploit the European and American markets.
The first off-the-shelf stem cell product in the world was available in South Korea under the name Cartistem in 2012.
In 2012-2017, six off-the-shelf stem cell products were commercialized and launched on the world market, including Cartistem, Prochymal, HS Temcell, Darvadstrocel, Osteocel plus and Trinity Evolution.