LEUVEN, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Jul 17, 2012) - TiGenix (EURONEXT BRUSSELS: TIG), the European leader in cell therapy, announced today that after obtaining national reimbursement for ChondroCelect in the Netherlands last month, the company has now contracted with four major hospitals to make its innovative cartilage repair therapy available to their patients on a routine basis: University Medical Center Utrecht, University Hospital Maastricht, Martini Hospital Groningen, and, most recently, the Elisabeth Hospital Tilburg. Discussions with other Cartilage Expert Centers are ongoing. Reimbursement for ChondroCelect in the Netherlands is retroactive per January 1, 2011.
"Our close collaboration with the Dutch hospitals is key to making ChondroCelect available to patients in the Netherlands," said Eduardo Bravo, CEO of TiGenix. "Dutch scientists and clinicians have made important contributions to the development of this innovative cartilage repair therapy. Patients who suffer from cartilage lesions in the knee that cause recurrent pain and can be incapacitating can now be routinely treated and literally find their footing again. We expect to soon expand the number of hospitals in the Netherlands where ChondroCelect is available."
Damage to the articular cartilage in the knee can be caused by sports or professional activities in which the knee is repeatedly and forcefully impacted. It is a condition that predominantly occurs in young adults, who as a result suffer from recurrent pain, locking or limited range of motion, and risk being incapacitated. TiGenix has developed ChondroCelect as a therapy to help patients regain their mobility and fully active lives by effectively repairing the damaged cartilage in the knee.
ChondroCelect® for cartilage regeneration in the knee is an implantation suspension of characterized viable autologous (from the patient her- or himself) cartilage cells. The product is administered to patients in an autologous chondrocyte implantation procedure known as Characterized Chondrocyte Implantation (CCI), a surgical procedure to treat cartilage defects, in conjunction with debridement (preparation of the defect bed), a physical seal of the lesion (placement of a biological membrane, preferentially a collagen membrane) and rehabilitation.
Cartilage defects of the knee are very common and the spontaneous healing capacity of cartilage is limited. Currently, roughly 2 million cases of articular cartilage defects of the knee are diagnosed worldwide every year. TiGenix estimates that in Europe and the United States around 130,000 patients are eligible for treatment with cartilage regeneration products such as ChondroCelect.
ChondroCelect is the first cell-based product to successfully complete the entire development track from research to clinical development, and was approved by the European Medicines Agency as an Advanced Medicinal Therapy Product in October 2009. ChondroCelect is to date the only EMA approved cartilage repair therapy, and is commercially available in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Spain.
TiGenix NV (EURONEXT BRUSSELS: TIG) is a leading European cell therapy company with a marketed cell therapy product for cartilage repair, ChondroCelect®, and a strong pipeline with clinical stage allogeneic adult stem cell programs for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. TiGenix is based out of Leuven (Belgium) and has operations in Madrid (Spain), and Sittard-Geleen (the Netherlands). For more information please visit www.tigenix.com.
This document may contain forward-looking statements and estimates with respect to the anticipated future performance of TiGenix and the market in which it operates. Certain of these statements, forecasts and estimates can be recognized by the use of words such as, without limitation, "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "plans", "seeks", "estimates", "may", "will" and "continue" and similar expressions. They include all matters that are not historical facts. Such statements, forecasts and estimates are based on various assumptions and assessments of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which were deemed reasonable when made but may or may not prove to be correct. Actual events are difficult to predict and may depend upon factors that are beyond TiGenix' control. Therefore, actual results, the financial condition, performance or achievements of TiGenix, or industry results, may turn out to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements, forecasts and estimates. Given these uncertainties, no representations are made as to the accuracy or fairness of such forward-looking statements, forecasts and estimates. Furthermore, forward-looking statements, forecasts and estimates only speak as of the date of the publication of this document. TiGenix disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statement, forecast or estimates to reflect any change in TiGenix' expectations with regard thereto, or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement, forecast or estimate is based, except to the extent required by Belgian law.