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California Stem Cell Agency Awards the Stone Research Foundation $1.3M to Fight Osteoarthritis

Kevin R. Stone, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chairman of the Stone Research Foundation, and Mani Vessal, Ph.D., Sr. Director of Research and Operations, are pleased to announce the receipt of a $1.3 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to improve the paste graft technique of cartilage repair.

In 1991, Dr. Stone developed a surgical technique called articular cartilage paste grafting. This strategy uses the patient’s own stem cells, cartilage, and bone to repair and regenerate arthritic defects in the knee joint. Outcome studies of patients have demonstrated an 80% success rate over 20 years, a significant improvement over the widely used microfracture technique.

The objective of this two-year study is to enhance cartilage regeneration using both stem cells and an adhesive hydrogel that acts like a supportive glue. “If this enhancement proves to be an improvement over current techniques,” says Dr. Vessal, “we will advance to a human clinical trial to address the widespread need to treat and cure arthritis.”

The urgency for the need to address cartilage regeneration for those who suffer with osteoarthritis was evidenced in a press release by CIRM: “The hope is that this two-pronged approach will produce an effective and functional stem cell-based cartilage repair procedure. If effective this could produce a minimally invasive, low cost, one-step solution to help people with cartilage injuries and arthritis.”

This project exemplifies the mission of the public non-profit, San Francisco-based Stone Research Foundation “to pioneer new orthopaedic treatments that accelerate healing, enabling people to stay active through research, development, innovation, and education.”

“Our ultimate goal,” says Dr. Stone, “is to prevent, treat, and cure arthritis and thereby help you live to age 100, still playing the sports you love.”

Dr. Stone is also the author of the best-selling book Play Forever: How to Recover From Injury and Thrive, which explores modern therapies related to the Stone Research Foundation’s goal to prevent, treat, and cure arthritis.

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