AGelity Biomechanics is a life sciences company developing a novel, non-biodegradable device to reliably treat cartilage injuriesMORE ABOUT AGELITY ›
AGelity Biomechanics is a medical device company developing a mechanical solution for articular cartilage damage. Our technology, AGelity-OCI, is a more efficient and cost effective intervention for the increasing number of medical conditions surrounding knee and joint health.
We are experienced biotech entrepreneurs, world-class surgeons, and accomplished scientists. AGelity was founded in 2014 as the first spin-out technology from the Hospital for Special Surgery, the top ranked hospital in the US for Orthopedics.
We have received several prestigious awards for our research and technology. These include funding from the National Institutes of Health, MacArthur Foundation, HSS Innovation Fund, and Bioaccelerate Prize NYC.
MacArthur Foundation funding through HSS
Each year, an estimated 3.9 million patients worldwide are diagnosed with focal cartilage (chondral) or cartilage-and-bone (osteochondral) defects related to trauma resulting from recreational & work-related activities. These joint defects are painful, and if left untreated accelerate the progression to end-stage osteoarthritis (OA) ultimately requiring a total joint replacement.
Articular Cartlilage Damage
Usually caused by acute trauma
Affects 27 million Americans
Total Joint Replacement
632,000 per year, costing some $22.6 billion
The total number of U.S. surgeries specific for focal cartilage defects was over 300,000 in 2015 with the global sports medicine market for cartilage repair over $2.2 billion annually. As kids begin playing sports at a younger age and adults stay active until much later in life, the number of surgeries for focal cartilage defects continues to rise and is projected to reach approximately 400,000 surgeries by 2025.
Despite the staggering number of patients at risk of end-stage osteoarthritis and debilitating joint pain, there is still no reliable method to treat focal cartilage defects before they progress further.
These interventions include:
• Microfacture surgery (77%)
• Grafts (3%)
• Scaffolds, Cell-Based Techniques (20%)
Our goal is to develop a reliable off-the-shelf device to treat active patients with isolated chondral or osteochondral defects.
Agelity-OCI is a non-degradable implant that utilizes our proprietary and patented hydrogel technology to withstand joint load, and to ensure rapid and robust integration after arthroscopic implantation. Our implant is the first mechanical solution that also allows for peripheral cartilage integration, and as such will limit the need to be minimally weight bearing after surgery.
AGelity-OCI is under development and has not been approved by the FDA.
Our proprietary hydrogel technology is a mechano-biological solution to the problem of cartilage damage.
Current technologies are dominated by the use of degradable scaffolds, which are intended to produce choreographed tissue ingrowth and scaffold degeneration. But tissue ingrowth takes time and the biological environment of each individual’s joint is different, leading to significant patient-to-patient variability in terms of outcome.
Agelity-OCI avoids the pitfalls of relying solely on an individual’s biological response to elicit repair. The device mechanically restores function to the damaged area, while also allowing for cartilage and bone to seal the gap between the device and the tissue into which it is implanted.
Easier to manufacture
More functionality predictable
Thomas Cirrito Ph.D. is a serial entrepreneur who previously served as Vice President of Research and Development and Director of Business Development at Stemline Therapeutics (NASDAQ: STML). Dr. Cirrito joined Stemline in 2005 as the second full-time employee, and was responsible for business development, preclinical, intellectual property, manufacturing, analytical, and operations. Prior to joining Stemline, Dr. Cirrito was a biopharmaceuticals equities analyst at Piper Jaffray, where he covered large and small cap biotechnology companies. He was also a life sciences consultant for A.G. Edwards Capital Partners, a venture capital group. Dr.Cirrito received a B.A. in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri). He currently serves on the Scientific and Business Advisory Board of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. He serves as an investor and mentor to early stage biotechnology and health care companies. He is CEO of Immunovent, an allergy diagnostics company and Filament Biosolutions Inc., an evidence based medical nutritional company.
Russell Warren, MD is Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus of Hospital for Special Surgery (“HSS”), Attending Orthopedic Surgeon and Professor of Orthopedics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Among his many accomplishments as Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. Warren spearheaded the Hospital’s efforts to advance research and education. During his tenure, soft tissue research be-came one of the Hospital’s priorities. Co-founding the Soft Tissue Laboratory in 1992, he helped accelerate this research by stimulating novel investigations in the function, repair, and replacement of ligaments and tendons. Under his leadership, the number of orthopedic fellows increased five-fold, and the HSS residency program, one of the most competitive in the country, flourished. One of the most eminent leaders in the field of sports medicine and shoulder surgery, Dr. Warren served as a former president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the American Shoulder & Elbow Society (ASES). He has been honored several times with the prestigious Charles S. Neer Award, which is given annually by ASES to the best paper in basic science, and the HSS Lifetime Achievement Award. He has published over 250 scientific articles and is co-editor-in-chief of the publication “Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery”. He has received a number of patents for the development of devices to treat problems of the knee and shoulder. For over 20 years, Dr. Warren has been the team doctor for the New York Giants football team, overseeing all medical care for the players. He is a member of the board of trustees for the National Football Foundation and previously the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. Dr. Warren obtained his A.B. from Columbia College and his medical degree from the State University of New York Medical School in Syracuse. He completed his internship and surgical residency training at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, followed by an orthopedic surgical residency at HSS and a fellowship in shoulder surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
Suzanne Maher Ph.D. is an Associate Scientist, Associate Director of the Department of Biomechanics and Associate Director of the Tissue Engineering Regeneration and Repair Program at Hospital for Special Surgery. She is Adjunct Associate Professor at Cornell University and an Associate Professor of Applied Biomechanics in Orthopaedic Surgery at Cornell Medical College. Dr. Maher is a mechanical engineer - she received her BE and MEngSc in Mechanical Engineering from University College and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland. She has been a Scientist at Hospital for Special Surgery since 2000, punctuated by a period of research at the intramural Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Maher is an expert in understanding knee joint contact mechanics, and how injury and repair can affect the mechanical and biological environment of the joint. She has been the Principal Investigator of multiple NIH grants and has co-authored over 62 papers, seven book chapters, and five patent applications. She was recently elected to the college of fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She is an active member of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), the American Society for Testing and Manufacture (ASTM) and the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She is dedicated to the translation of research from the laboratory to clinical care and has co-chaired a number of national symposia dedicated to this topic.
Tony Chen, Ph.D., obtained his BSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester. He performed his postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Special Surgery in the Department of Biomechanics under the NIH-sponsored Musculoskeletal T32 training grant. Dr. Chen has received research support through the Weill Cornell Clinical & Translational Science Center KL2 Fellowship and is currently the principal investigator on the NIH-funded SBIR phase I grant awarded to AGelity Biomechanics. Dr. Chen is a member of the Orthopedic Research Society (ORS) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). His research interests lie in understanding changes in joint contact mechanics after injuries and the ability of repair technologies in restoring normal joint loads. He is interested in translating these findings to develop solutions to improve long term patient outcomes.
Sarah Weber joined the AGelity team through the Harlem BioSpace Fellows program in 2015. As a former college athlete and NYC biotech enthusiast, she has enjoyed contributing to the growth of AGelity as a volunteer advisor. Sarah is also an equity research analyst at Piper Jaffray focused on Emerging BioPharma, particularly the CNS and rare disease space. Her previous work experience includes marketing consulting for pharma, as well as clinical research at Boston Children's Hospital, and she holds a BA from Williams College in psychology and neuroscience.
Ng KW, Torzilli PA, Warren RF, Maher SA. Characterization of a macroporous polyvinyl alcohol scaffold for the repair of focal articular cartilage defects. Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. 2014,8(2): 164-8.
Scholten PM, Ng KW, Joh K, Serino LP, Warren RF, Torzilli PA, et al. A semi-degradable composite scaffold for articular cartilage defects. Journal of biomedical materials research Part A. 2011.
Ng KW, Wanivenhaus F, Chen T, Hsu HC, Allon AA, Abrams VD, et al. A novel macroporous polyvinyl alcohol scaffold promotes chondrocyte migration and interface formation in an in vitro cartilage defect model. Tissue engineering Part A. 2012;18(11-12):1273-81.
Krych AJ, Wanivenhaus F, Ng KW, Doty S, Warren RF, Maher SA. Matrix generation within a macroporous non-degradable implant for osteochondral defects is not enhanced with partial enzymatic digestion of the surrounding tissue: evaluation in an in vivo rabbit model. Journal of materials science Materials in medicine. 2013;24(10):2429-37.
Maher SA, Chen T, Lipman JD, Torzilli P, Warren R, inventors; New York Society for the Ruptured and Crippled Maintaining the Hospital for Special Surgery, assignee. Multi-component non-biodegradable implant, a method of making and a method of implantation. USA2017 Jan.
Maher SA, NG K, Chen T, Wanivenhaus F, inventors; New York Society for the Ruptured and Crippled Maintaining the Hospital for Special Surgery, assignee. Interconnected porous non-degradable poly(vinyl) alcohol implant and method of manufacture. USA2013 Oct.
Maher SA, Schwartz J, Hook AOM, Russell BH, Jones CM, inventors; New York Society for the Ruptured and Crippled Maintaining the Hospital for Special Surgery, assignee. Composition for the attachment of implants to collagen or other components of biological tissue. USA2013 May.
We can be reached via chen @ agelitybiomechanics.com.