Bonus Biogroup Says First Lab-Grown Leg Bone Transplanted in Patient
The Israel-based company's injectable bone grafts are made from fat cells taken from the patients to negate the risk of tissue rejection
Israel-based biotechnology Bonus Biogroup Ltd. announced Wednesday it has injected, for the first time, a lab-grown bone graft into the leg of a patient suffering from critical bone loss. Following the announcement, Bonus' stock was up 18.66% on the Tel Aviv Stock exchange at Wednesday market close.
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Established in 2008 and headquartered in the Israeli northern port city Haifa, Bonus develops bone grafts from fat tissue taken from the patients themselves, to negate the risk of tissue rejection. The tissue is separated in the lab into a mixture that contains bone-forming cells, growth stimulating factors, and scaffolding material to support the 3D structure of new bone growth. The material is then injected back into the deficient part of the patient's bone.
The human body has the ability to regrow and heal small injuries to the bone. However, disease or injury can often create bone loss that won't heal on its own, requiring outside intervention in the form of bone grafts.
There are currently three main types of bone grafts. Autologous grafts use bone taken from another place in the patient’s body, significantly lowering chances of rejection but requiring additional surgery. Allogenic grafts, which are taken from cadavers, run a risk of rejection and cannot create new bone growth, only support surrounding regeneration. Chemically created synthetic grafts are usually only used on their own to fill small voids, but might be used with autografts if those are too small.
Bonus' injectable autografts are currently in early-stage clinical trials. The leg graft reported Wednesday is part of a trial announced in August, which currently includes two other patients who underwent bone transplant in their forearm that month. The study is eventually intended to include 30-40 participants, men and women, aged 18-70.
Two weeks ago, Bonus announced the successful injection of its bone graft in the jawbones of 11 people, in a separate clinical trial that started September 2016. Over several months, the graft created new bone growth in all eleven participants.