Moximed, a medtech company based in California, has developed the MISHA knee system, an implantable shock absorber for use in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The system is designed as an alternative to total knee replacement, and can help to reduce pain and discomfort for patients when performing daily activities, such as walking. The system is implanted on the outside of the knee, beneath the skin, and there is no need to remove bone, muscle, or ligament, resulting in a much faster patient recovery compared with knee replacement procedures.
Many patients with knee osteoarthritis are otherwise healthy and active. Such patients may be reluctant to get a knee replacement, which is an end-stage procedure with a significant recovery time. A replacement knee may also restrict movement and activity somewhat, so for someone with an active lifestyle, a less invasive procedure that can still assist with their knee osteoarthritis may be a better option. This is the niche that the MISCHA knee system intends to fill.
Medgadget had the opportunity to speak with Anton Clifford, founder and CEO of Moximed, about the technology.
Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please give us an overview of knee osteoarthritis and its consequences for patients.
Anton Clifford, Moximed: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a national health crisis, affecting the lives of over 32 million adults in the US, and is projected to impact 70 million Americans by 2040. Knee OA develops when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time, causing pain as the bone ends rub together during normal movement. The majority of people with knee OA are under 65 years of age, and the fastest growing segment is represented by people aged 45 – 65 years old, making knee OA especially debilitating to a person’s ability to walk and participate in daily activities.
Medgadget: What types of conservative treatment are currently available for such patients?
Anton Clifford: People with knee OA usually start with non-surgical treatments, like weight loss, knee injections, physical therapy, or off-loader braces. Non-surgical treatments improve or alleviate symptoms for many, but some people still need more relief. Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, and many patients are eventually faced with a treatment dilemma: give up their daily activities and live a compromised lifestyle or give up their joint with a total knee replacement.
Medgadget: What dictates the progression to total knee replacement? Why are patients reluctant to undergo this procedure?
Anton Clifford: More than half of the people with knee OA are of working age, but total knee replacement is an end-stage treatment and may require significant activity limitations. Younger or moderately diseased patients with knee OA are often not candidates for arthroplasty and have few treatment options. Surgeons and patients alike are frustrated by the treatment gap that exists today between non-surgical care and total knee replacement surgery.
Medgadget: Please give us an overview of the MISHA Knee System and how it works.
Anton Clifford: The MISHA Knee System is the first FDA-cleared implantable shock absorber developed for the treatment of medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. The MISHA Knee System reduces the peak forces on painful knee joints during activities such as walking, running, or simply standing. The implant is placed under the skin, but outside the joint, during an outpatient procedure. Unlike joint replacement surgeries, none of a patient’s bone, ligament, or cartilage is removed, minimizing recovery and ensuring all future treatment options are still available. No weight bearing or range of motion restrictions are required, and there are no device-imposed limitations on return to activity.
Medgadget: How has the technology fared in recent clinical studies?
Anton Clifford: In our most recent clinical study, an overwhelming majority of study participants experienced rapid, substantial, and sustained improvements in pain and function. At two years, 96% of patients experienced clinically meaningful pain relief, and 92% of patients experienced clinically meaningful functional improvement. Furthermore, patients rapidly returned to activity and returned to full weight bearing within 13 days.
Medgadget: Typically, how long can the technology assist a patient in avoiding the need for a knee replacement?
Anton Clifford: Our implantable shock absorber (ISA) technology has over a decade of clinical experience, over 1,500 treated patients, and has demonstrated the ability to reduce joint stress and pain for those with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. The ISA with a polymer shock absorber has been used in the clinic for over eight years, and the 5-year estimated freedom from arthroplasty is 85%.
Link: Moximed homepage…
Flashbacks: Implantable Knee Shock Absorber Embedded in First Patient in U.S.; Atlas, an Implantable Shock Absorber for Your Knee; KineSpring: Shock Absorbing Implant Reduces Joint Stress in Active Patients