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Orthopedics


Each year, more than 1 million patients in the US alone suffer difficult or prolonged healing of their bone fractures. This results in non-unions, delayed unions and malunions. Bone grafts or extensive surgical intervention are often required, and often lead to poor clinical outcomes including weakened bone structure and pain on ambulation. Surgical removal of bone cancers such as osteosarcoma can result in large segmental bone defects. Thus, there has been a significant demand for sources of bone to fill gaps in the skeleton. The most common source is the allograft; however, it is fraught with risks such as the potential of transfer of diseases like HIV, hepatitis, amongst others. Another source used by orthopedists involves harvesting an autograft from a patient's own iliac crest and reshaping it to fit the target defect site. Although devoid of infectious risks, the harvesting procedure is rather crude and in many cases results in chronic pain that may last longer than 1 year. To date, no therapy is available that allows injured bone to heal with full strength and function while avoiding the induction of significant morbidity. Escape believes that stem cell therapy may offer a more elegant solution to this burgeoning unmet orthopedic need.

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