Sep 24, 2015

Cartiva Announces First Patient Treated in Study of Cartiva® Synthetic Cartilage Implant for Pain Associated with Osteoarthritis of the Thumb

Cartiva, Inc., a developer of innovative solutions for the treatment of cartilage damage, osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, announced that the first patient has been treated in its GRIP Study, a multi-center study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (SCI) in the treatment of first carpometacarpal (CMC) joint osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb. Erin Brown, MD PhD FRCSC, the Co-Principal Investigator of the GRIP Study, performed the surgery at UBC Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. This procedure was also the first to utilize this Cartiva implant design, using implants and tools optimized for the specific curvatures of the CMC joint.

Osteoarthritis of the thumb CMC joint is a common and frequently debilitating condition that affects 8% to 12% of the general population[1]and as many as 33% of postmenopausal women[2].   Also known as thumb basal joint arthritis, osteoarthritis of the CMC joint causes pain, swelling, instability, deformity, loss of motion and weakness, making it difficult to perform a variety of tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars. Current surgical options for later-stage patients for whom conservative treatments have failed include joint fusion, total or partial trapeziectomy or arthroplasty.

Cartiva SCI is a proprietary hydrogel polymer device designed to mimic natural cartilage.  The implant is used in the treatment of osteoarthritis in patients with diseased or damaged articular surface in the first CMC joint. Cartiva SCI is implanted in the metacarpal base, where its placement provides replacement for damaged cartilage without requiring the destruction or removal of a patient’s healthy tissue.  The design of the Cartiva implant minimizes bone resection and preserves the trapezium and may provide for a quicker and less painful recovery than ligament reconstruction tendon interposition (LRTI) surgery or trapeziectomy. Also, because the procedure preserves normal joint anatomy, LRTI or trapeziectomy remain viable options if a revision is ultimately required. The Cartiva implant is currently available in Europe and Canada.

“We are excited to be the first hospital to enroll a patient in this study,” said Dr. Brown, Clinical Professor and Director of Research, Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of British Columbia. “The Cartiva device is implanted in a quick and straightforward procedure, and has the potential to restore grip and pinch strength following debilitating osteoarthritis of the CMC joint. I look forward to enrolling additional patients and following them on a longer-term basis, which will help examine the potential of this promising technology.”

“Enrolling the first patient in our feasibility study is an important milestone for our company and the physician community and underscores our commitment to developing innovative and data-supported products for orthopedic extremities patients,” said Timothy J. Patrick, president and chief executive officer of Cartiva.


[1]  Lawrence JS, Bremner JM, Bier F. Osteo-arthrosis. Prevalence in the population and relationship between symptoms and x-ray changes. Ann Rheum Dis. 1966;25: 1-5.
[2] Armstrong AL, Hunter JB, Davis TR. The prevalence of degenerative arthritis of the base of the thumb in post-menopausal women. J Hand Surg [Br]. 1994;19: 340-1.


Cartiva, Inc.
Peter Pizzo, 770-754-3855
Chief Financial Officer

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