As part of its ongoing ambition to promote patient access to its unique treatment, Arthrosamid®, across Europe, Contura Orthopaedics Ltd has announced a new partnership with Hogan Healthcare, one of Ireland’s independent medical device distributors.
Arthrosamid® is a polyacrylamide hydrogel developed by Contura International Ltd. as a long-lasting intra-articular injection approved in Europe for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The treatment has the potential to change the present care pathway for managing OA, which affects around one in four adults in Ireland aged over 60  (over 400,000 people)  and current treatments are not long lasting or involve invasive knee replacement surgery. Despite a large suffering population, there has been very little innovation in the range of OA treatments on offer to meaningfully help patients – until now.
Consisting of 2.5% cross-linked polyacrylamide and 97.5% non-pyrogenic water, a 6ml dose of Arthrosamid® is injected into the joint space to cushion the knee and relieve pain in one single treatment . Patients can expect to see improved mobility and pain relief within days where the effect is long lasting . Arthrosamid® becomes embedded in the synovial membrane, providing increased cushioning and bringing both pain relief and improved mobility to patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
The first procedure to be carried out in Ireland took place on Friday, April 22 treating a patient who was likely to be ineligible for knee replacement surgery and, as such, was seeking long lasting and non-invasive pain relief. The patient will now be followed up closely by the clinician to observe the benefits – and it is hoped this first case study will help to pave the way for further clinics and hospitals across Ireland to adopt the procedure and to begin offering Arthrosamid® as a treatment to other appropriate patients over the coming months.
Several clinical studies have been completed for Arthrosamid® with further trials ongoing:
– A prospective open label study , “IDA”, demonstrated Arthrosamid®’s effect in reducing pain at 6 months, which was maintained at 12 months.  This trial, together with the safety and performance data established for the hydrogel technology, satisfied European regulatory authorities to grant approval (CE Mark) to Arthrosamid® for the symptomatic treatment of patients with knee OA in early 2021. Data published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage in 2021 found that over 70% of patients had a positive experience of treatment, exceeding a minimal clinically important difference, with a reduction in pain, stiffness and physical mobility at 6 months with pain and physical function maintained beyond one year. 
– New data showing the 2-year results from the “IDA” study was recently presented at the Orthopaedic Research Society International (OARSI) 2022 World Congress. The results showed that a single injection of Arthrosamid® continued to be well tolerated and demonstrated clinically relevant and statistically significant effectiveness in reducing pain, at 2 years after treatment. 
– Positive results from a separate multi-centred, randomised, controlled clinical study, “ROSA”, of Arthrosamid® in 238 patients with knee OA was presented at the OASRI 2022 World Congress . The study compared the reduction in pain after one year following a single injection of Arthrosamid® with a major brand of hyaluronic acid, a common treatment for the same indication. Results from this study showed that the effectiveness of Arthrosamid® in all patients was numerically superior to hyaluronic acid at 1 year , but in the under 70-year-olds, Arthrosamid performed statistically significantly better than hyaluronic acid 1 year after treatment . This study will be following patients out to 5 years.
Graham Hogan, Director of Hogan Healthcare, says; “This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hogan Healthcare, and it feels fitting that this new professional association with the team at Contura Orthopaedics Ltd reflects our long-established ethos of working with ‘partners that drive innovation and quality’. What struck us at the very outset of our conversations with Contura Orthopaedics Ltd is that innovation is at the core of this novel treatment. It was something we hadn’t seen before, and we knew we wanted to be ‘leading the charge’ in Ireland as the treatment gains more traction and interest globally. The feedback we’re already hearing from other orthopaedic specialists across Europe is really encouraging, and we’re now so excited to be embarking on a programme of promoting Arthrosamid® to our clinical partners across Ireland.
He adds; “We know there’s a clear need for new treatments which can offer relief to patients suffering from knee pain caused by OA. Waiting lists are at an all time high and many patients – and their physicians – are looking for robust and evidence-based procedures which may help to delay often-inevitable knee surgery. We feel confident and reassured by the research findings already published by the team at Contura and we’re looking forward to furthering data being released – as well as discussing our commitment to the Arthrosamid® procedure at the annual meeting of the Irish Orthopaedic Association in June.”
Rakesh Tailor CEO of Contura International Ltd adds; “We’re absolutely delighted to announce news of our association with Hogan Healthcare as part of our ongoing focus on the European expansion of Arthrosamid®.
“The discomfort caused by knee OA can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life, making everyday activities hugely challenging. For patients not suitable for surgery, or deemed too young for knee replacement surgery, Arthrosamid® represents a game changing option, a safe non-degrading hydrogel in a single injection providing long-acting and sustained pain relief.
“This latest collaboration will enable Contura Orthopaedics Ltd to further widen access to Arthrosamid®, taking us a step further towards fulfilling our vision of helping many more patients find relief from the pain of knee OA.”
1 Relevium: Making a joint effort to tackle knee osteoarthritis (irishtimes.com)
2 Physical activity and arthritis (hse.ie)
3 Christensen, L., Camitz, L., Illigen, K.E., Hansen, M., Sarvaa, R., Conaghan, P.G., 2016. Synovial incorporation of polyacrylamide hydrogel after injection into normal and osteoarthritic animal joints. Osteoarthritis and cartilage / OARS, Osteoarthritis Research Society 24, 1999-2002.
4 OARSI CONNECT 2021 POSTER 336 POLYACRYLAMIDE HYDROGEL INJECTION FOR KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS: RESULTS OF A 52 WEEK PROSPECTIVE STUDY Henning Bliddal, Anders Overgaard, Andreas Hartkopp, Jannie Beier, Philip G Conaghan, Marius Henriksen.
5 Bliddal H, Overgaard A, Hartkopp A, Beier J, Conaghan PG, et al. (2021) Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Injection for Knee Osteoarthritis: A 6 Months Prospective Study. J Orthop Res Ther 1188:6.
6 Bliddal H, Overgaard A, Hartkopp A, Beier J, Conaghan PG, et al. (2021) Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Injection for Knee Osteoarthritis: Results of a 52 Week Prospective Study. Osteoarthritis and CartilageVol. 29 S278: 2021.
7 Bliddal H, A, Beier J, Hartkopp Conaghan PG, et al. (2022) A Prospective study of Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Injection for Knee Osteoarthritis: Results from 2 years after treatment. Poster presented at OARSI 2022
8 Bliddal H, Beier J, Hartkopp A, Conaghan PG, Henriksen M,. One-year performance of polyacrylamide hydrogel vs. hyaluronic acid: A randomised controlled study. Poster presented at OARSI 2022
9 Bliddal H, Beier J, Hartkopp A, Conaghan PG, Henriksen M,. One-year performance of polyacrylamide hydrogel vs. hyaluronic acid in age, BMI, and Kellgren-Lawrence subgroups: A subgroup analysis of a randomised study. Poster presented at OARSI 2022