• Orthocell’s tendon cell therapy, OrthoATI, could be as effective or potentially better than surgery
  • Nova Eye crashed on a proposed change in US Medicare coverage
  • MedAdvisor awarded a contract in North Queensland


Orthocell’s OrthoATI could be better than having surgery

Orthocell (ASX:OCC) surged 7% this morning after its study demonstrates that the tendon cell therapy (OrthoATI) is as effective, and potentially better than, surgery for severe, chronic treatment-resistant lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).

Lateral epicondylitis, (also known as tennis elbow), results in considerable pain and disability and affects millions of people every year.

Symptoms usually resolve within six months, but for patients with severe lateral epicondylitis that fails to respond to conservative treatment, recovery without further intervention is unlikely, and the only option remaining is surgery.

Surgery is invasive, costly, not always successful, and requires strict rehabilitation protocols.

Orthocell believes OrthoATI represents a potential breakthrough nonsurgical treatment option to resolve pain, and return functional mobility for this debilitating condition.

Final results showed that OrthoATI patients experienced almost complete resolution of pain by one-month post-treatment, compared to six months after treatment in the surgery group.

Notably, participants in the OrthoATI group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement of return of function in half the time, versus the surgery group.

Participants in the OrthoATI group also returned to work on average one month (32 days) earlier than the surgery group.

Overall, this study indicates that OrthoATI may be a better alternative to surgery, as it is minimally invasive and cost effective.

Orthocell says the results will be presented by lead study investigator and clinical professor, Eugene Ek, at the 83rd Australian Orthopaedic Association Annual Scientific Meeting.

Based on the successful study outcomes, Orthocell will now look to appoint a US-based corporate adviser to assist the company in securing a strategic partner to progress OrthoATI.

“Our decision to appoint a US based corporate adviser will enhance progress of the tendon cell therapy, and allow us to continue our focus on FDA approval for our leading nerve repair product, Remplir,” said Orthocell CEO, Paul Anderson.


Nova Eye crashes after proposed Medicare changes in US

Nova Eye Medical (ASX:EYE) tumbled 24% this morning after news that coverage changes have been proposed for Medicare reimbursement of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) procedures in the US.

The four Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) in the US have just categorised canaloplasty as “investigational” for Medicare-insured patients, and hence not eligible for reimbursement.

Approximately 40% of the company’s global revenues are derived from health care facilities located in the 38 states covered by the four MACs.

Should these changes be implemented, some of the company’s customers may lose reimbursement coverage for canaloplasty procedures from December 24th 2023 onwards, which is also expected to negatively impact the company’s sales in the short term.

Nova Eye says it intends to engage with the MACs to address what the company believes are fundamental procedural issues with the changes, and to provide additional clinical data to support the continued coverage of canaloplasty procedures.


MedAdvisor’s contract in North Queensland

Meanwhile, medication management platform provider, MedAdvisor (ASX:MDR), has been awarded a contract to support the 2024-2025 North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

The pilot program enables prescribing pharmacists in a community pharmacy to diagnose and treat up to 23 everyday health conditions across acute care, chronic conditions and medication management.

Under the deal, these in-pharmacy services will be delivered via an enhanced MedAdvisor PlusOne software platform.

It is anticipated that the pilot will launch on 1 February 2024, and operate for a period of 16 months, concluding on 31 May 2025.

Currently, approximately 135 community pharmacies in North Queensland have registered to participate in the program.

The agreement comes following successful programs with QLD, NSW, WA and VIC pharmacies.


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