Orthocell soars on trial result

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Shares in Australian regenerative medicine company Orthocell (ASX:OCC) soared yesterday in response to the latest news from a trial of its CelGro nerve regeneration product.

According to the company, following surgery with CelGro, the four patients regained muscle function and/or sensation of affected limbs and have returned to work, sport and activities of daily living.

The company's share price soared over 350 per cent in response to the news.

The trial is being undertaken with leading West Australian orthopaedic nerve specialist, Dr Alex O’Beirne of St John of God Subiaco Hospital, and Professor Ming Hao Zheng of the University of Western Australia.

According to Dr O’Beirne, “The nerve injuries suffered by the patients in this study were so severe that they would not have been able to regain normal use of their injured arm and hand without microsurgery. The surgery can be very complex and difficult, but using CelGro has enabled us to rejoin severed nerves without tension.

"CelGro increases the strength and quality of the repair and makes surgery easier. I am very pleased with the patients’ progress, regaining use of affected limbs faster than I would have expected and they continue to improve.”

The company said the first four patients treated in the trial had previously suffered traumatic peripheral nerve injuries following motor vehicle, sporting and work-related incidents, resulting in complete paralysis, or impaired use of the upper limb.

They experienced significant pain and were unable to perform basic activities like eating, bathing, dressing, going to the toilet and working.

"A review of clinical results 24 months after nerve regeneration treatment with CelGro (involving the repair of 8 peripheral nerves) indicates that CelGro successfully guides and supports nerve regeneration in severely damaged peripheral nerves of the hand and upper limb," said the company.

"Patients regained muscle function and/or sensation of affected limbs and have commenced return to work, sport and activities of daily living following CelGro nerve regeneration treatment."