Orthocell, a grow-your-own-body-cell business, is finally halfway through testing a treatment to grow back damaged nerves – a year after it started.

The trial is testing whether the company’s (ASX:OCC) CelGro treatment is safe and works on patients with one or two peripheral nerves damaged after motor vehicle, sporting and work-related accidents.

“Patient injuries resulted in the inability to bend their elbow and significantly impacted basic activities of daily living,” the company said.

Pic: Orthocell
Pic: Orthocell

The trial was approved in October 2016 and the trial began in the fourth quarter of that year with orthopaedic nerve specialist Dr Alex O’Beirne and the St John of God Subiaco Hospital in Perth.

Orthocell has now treated the first six patients – involving the repair of eight peripheral nerves.

Orthocell’s CelGro makes collagen “scaffolds”. It’s a technique that involves using collagen — the glue that holds our bodies together — as a scaffold on which cells and tissues can grow. Orthocell uses this technology to heal injuries to soft tissue, bones, tendons and cartilage.

“CelGro allows for suture-less reconnection of the damaged nerve while guiding nerve regeneration and accelerating the healing process,” managing director Paul Anderson said.