Emory School of Medicine Receives $13 Million for Osteoarthritis Study

Emory School of Medicine Receives $13 Million for Osteoarthritis Study

The Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta has announced a $13 million grant from the Marcus Foundation for a multi-center clinical trial at its Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center that looks at various stem cell options for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

The gift will support the efforts of a team of researchers from Sanford Health, Duke University, the Andrews Institute, and the Georgia Institute of Technology to compare traditional cortisone injection outcomes to outcomes using stem cell injections from autologous bone marrow concentrate (from a patient's own bone marrow), manufactured stem cells from umbilical cord tissue, and adipose-derived stem cells (fat-storage cells).

Largely a disease that affects older people, primary osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition characterized by extensive damage to joints, excruciating pain leading to loss of activity, and, in extreme cases, depression.

"We plan to use the information gained as a guideline to help provide new standards of care using stem cell therapies as treatment options other than non-steroidal alternatives and cortisone injections that can potentially cause damage after continued use," said principal investigator Scott D. Boden, professor of orthopedic surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. "All injected cells will undergo an unprecedented level of sophisticated characterization to identify which donor-patients are more likely to have positive results with their own stem cells and identify critical attributes needed to improve manufactured third-party stem cells for equally and consistently effective outcomes."

(Image credit: Emory School of Medicine)