Juniper Biologics, backed by The Sylvan Group, has secured the licensing rights for the development and commercialisation of Kolon Life Science’s cell-mediated gene therapy, TissueGene-C low dose (TG-C LD), to treat knee osteoarthritis.

TG-C LD is a non-surgical investigational therapy and is claimed to be the first in the world to potentially treat knee osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis. It is administered as a single intra-articular injection.

As per the $600m licensing deal, Juniper Biologics will develop and market gene therapy to medical professionals and hospitals in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Additionally, Kolon Life Science will extend support for gene therapy development and supply.

Kolon TissueGene, which holds TG-C’s licence in the US, has concluded a Phase II clinical trial in the country.

Preliminary results from the study showed that a single injection of TG-C in the knee joint offered lasting pain relief and improvement in mobility for possibly up to two years.

At present, Phase III trials with 1,020 participants in the US are in progress to validate the safety and efficacy of TG-C.

The trials are aimed to demonstrate the delay of disease progression to obtain a Disease Modifying Osteoarthritis Drug designation apart from establishing the statistically significant decline in pain and function improvements reported in the US Phase II trial.

Juniper Biologics CEO Raman Singh said: “We are always looking to identify areas in which we can make the most difference and TG-C LD offers substantial relief for knee osteoarthritis patients who would otherwise be in need of surgery or other treatment options.

“We are committed to providing innovative treatments to treat osteoarthritis of the knee through the regeneration of cartilage and we believe this innovative investigational treatment will bring relief to millions of patients across the region.”