Joint preservation is the future of orthopedics. Over 650 million people suffer from knee joint degradation globally. The key drivers for growth are aging population, escalating obesity and the desire for more active years in a lifetime. Early interventions to preserve joint structures and stop degradation are in paramount need.4
Why invest in Askel Healthcare?
Askel’s COPLA® solution has been designed to answer the key unmet needs of surgical cartilage repair:
- Science-based solution: The product is based on multidisciplinary academic research.
- Universal product: Can be used from small to large lesions at various stages of degenerative joint disease.
- Surgical simplicity: Implanted in a single surgical procedure with an easy-to-adapt technique using existing instruments.
- Affordability: An off-the-self product with favorable production economics guarantee affordable pricing.
- Patient benefits: The exclusive promise of immediate full weight-bearing of the operated leg after surgery provides patients with early rehabilitation and a faster recovery.
- Joint preservation: Early intervention can preserve the damaged joint surface and postpone, or even eliminate the need for, total knee replacement surgery. The economic benefits to health are evidently extensive.
Market and Megatrends
There are some interesting global healthcare trends that support our growth strategy and explain why we are so excited about our offering:
- Frequent knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults, limits function and mobility, and impairs quality of life.1
- There are over 650 million individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis globally and it has doubled in prevalence since the mid-20th century. Knee osteoarthritis is the number one cause of disability among adults worldwide.3-4 It is well documented that untreated knee cartilage defects can lead to osteoarthritis.1-2
- Knee cartilage defects affect between 5-16% of adults and prevalence increases with age.2
- The prevalence of knee cartilage lesions among athletes is higher at 36-38%. High impact athletes such as professional and recreational football and basketball players are affected the most and studies report that the prevalence of knee cartilage defects among professional basketball players is 47,5%.5-6
- There are between 300,000 and 650,000 knee cartilage defect surgeries performed annually in the USA. Surgical treatment of cartilage defects is patchy and so far no player has come up with a cost-efficient treatment method that has yielded lasting results. As biological treatment options for regenerating the affected tissues does not yet exist, an artificial joint is today the best available long-term treatment option in the majority of cases.8
- Longer life expectancy and growing focus on physical health and quality of life in young and adult populations drive demand for innovations that support long-term functionality of joints including knee cartilage, a key enabler of pain-free movement.
- Strained public healthcare systems drive need for cost efficient surgical treatment that support fast recovery and long-term health benefits.
We are applying for funding for clinical validation and market authorizations in the EU and the US.
Product development in the medical field is time and resource consuming, controlled by the authorities and involves significant risks. Turnover only begins to accumulate after the product has been subjected to the necessary tests to demonstrate compliance with the requirements and has received regulatory approval.
- Uyen-Sa D. T. Nguyen, et al. Increasing Prevalence of Knee Pain and Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 6; 155(11): 725–732.
- David C. Flanigan., et al. Prevalence of Chondral Defects in Athletes’ Knees: A Systematic Review. MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE. 2010. Copyright by the American College of Sports Medicine.
- Robert A Sellards., et al. Chondral injuries. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2002 Mar;14(2):134-41.
- Aiyong Cui., et al. Global, regional prevalence, incidence and risk factors of knee osteoarthritis in population-based studies. EClinicalMedicine, part of the Lancet Discovery Science, 2020 Dec; 29-30.
- Ian J. Wallace., et al. Knee osteoarthritis has doubled in prevalence since the mid-20th century. www.pnas.org/cgi/content/short/1703856114.
- Frank McCormick., et al. Trends in the Surgical Treatment of Articular Cartilage Lesions in the United States: An Analysis of a Large Private-Payer Database Over a Period of 8 Years. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, Vol 30, No 2 (February), 2014: pp 222-226.
- Renato Andrade., et al. Prevalence of Articular Cartilage Lesions and Surgical Clinical Outcomes in Football (Soccer) Players’ Knees: A Systematic Review. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, 2016: pp 1-12.
- Mosley, J., et al. (2002). A Controlled Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. N Engl J Med 2002; 347:81-88.
Our ambition is to transform surgical treatment of knee cartilage defects with our universal COPLA implant. Today we are at the seed phase of our growth strategy. Our long-term goal is to commercialize the product globally and to achieve this we will focus on the following:
- Gain US (FDA) and EU (CE) market authorizations
- Validate immediate full weight-bearing and related fast recovery claims
- Market launch in EU and the US
- Establish scalable and cost-efficient production
Sales and marketing:
- Establish sales and marketing platforms for organic revenue growth and profitability
Critical enablers of this growth journey are continuous expansion of our competencies and to secure funding for the market authorizations. Our near-term focus is on obtaining EU and USA market authorizations, on strengthening the clinical evidence for our COPLA® implant and on commercialization of the product.