Osteoarthritis (OA) is a crippling disease that is caused by the breakdown of cartilage within joints. While the exact cause of OA remains unknown, post-traumatic injuries (e.g., ACL tear) and age-related wear-and-tear of the joints significantly increase the incidence of the disease. Over 27 million people are treated for arthritis-related pain in the United States alone, placing a $180B burden on our healthcare system and economy. Missed work and excessive medical expenditure all result from the lack of an effective treatment. We believe the discovery of a safe, effective therapy for OA would have an enormous impact on the well-being of our nation’s population and significantly reduce the burden placed on our economy.
Cytonics' solution to the OA problem is to deliver high concentrations of Alpha-2-Macroglobulin (A2M), a blood serum protein that has been shown to protect cartilage, into the joint space to slow and eventually halt the progression of arthritis.
We leveraged our understanding of the molecular forces that cause osteoarthritis to develop the "Autologous Platelet Integrated Concentration" (APIC) system, a device which concentrates A2M from patients' own blood to treat damaged joints. The APIC technology has treated over 6,000 patients nationwide, and has been shown to slow cartilage degradation, alleviate pain, and eventually halt the progression of OA.
Our current focus is on the development of CYT-108, a biologic therapy that was modeled after the naturally occurring A2M molecule found within blood. CYT-108 is a synthetic version of the A2M molecule that we hypothesize is more effective and 2-4x more potent than naturally occurring A2M. If approved by the FDA, CYT-108 will be the only therapy we are aware of that addresses the root causes of osteoarthritis and has the potential to cure this disease.