UPDATE : Saturday, February 22, 2020
World’s 1st gene therapy for osteoarthritis administered in Korea
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.11.08 12:52
  • Updated 2017.11.08 12:52
  • comments 1

Kolon Life Sciences said Wednesday it administered the first dose of its Invossa-K, the world’s first-in-class cell gene therapy to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.

Invossa is the world’s first allogeneic cell therapy for degenerative arthritis developed after 19 years of research by TissueGene, a Maryland-based biopharmaceutical company owned by Korea’s Kolon Group. It is the 29th domestically developed novel drug approved in Korea and one of only four cell gene therapies in the world.

In July, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved the first gene therapy product to treat osteoarthritis patients experiencing continued pain and symptoms (Kellgren & Lawrence grade 3) despite three months of previous treatment, the company said. It launched the therapy in June.

Related : Ministry approves 1st domestic gene therapy product

The therapy is a one-time injection that provides up to two years of pain reduction and joint function improvement, the company said.

Public interest in the therapy has been high, the company noted, saying around 100 osteoarthritis patients inquired about the drug at hospitals nationwide before the official launch. The wife of the Qatar’s ambassador in Seoul, and several Mongolian celebrities have also expressed intentions to visit Korea to inquire about Invossa, it added.

“We are seeing heightened interest in Invossa in the clinical field from both patients and medical staff,” said Kolon Life Science CEO Lee Woo-sok. “We will work to provide the treatment to knee osteoarthritis patients by supplying the injection to orthopedic clinics and general hospitals nationwide.”


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