uflexxa : מזרק קטן, שיפור גדול
המוצר: מזרקי חומצה היאלורונית ממקור חיידקי
המפתחים: ד”ר דב קנר וד”ר אברי הברון
החברה: חברת ביו-טכנולוגיה כללית (ישראל) בע”מ (BTG) תחילת הפיתוח: 1997
Product: Bacterially-Derived Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Developers: Dr. Dov Kanner and Dr. Avri Havron
Company: Bio-Technology General (Israel) Ltd. (BTG) Start of Development: 1997
Can a product used for treating horses’ knees similarly aid humans? This was the question that Dr. Dov Kanner and Dr. Avri Havron asked themselves in 1997. The two scientists had heard from a British racehorse breeder that he injected hyaluronic acid into the knees of his horses. He claimed that the acid’s attributes were similar to those of the natural fluid found in human joints, and enabled it to reduce their wear and relieve pain.
Hyaluronic acid is generally associated with the field of cosmetic surgery, but in practice it is a substance with important and varied medical qualities. Until the year 2000, use of this acid was restricted primarily to ophthalmic surgical applications, in particular cataract surgery.
One of the first companies in the world to succeed in producing a safe high-quality bacterially-based hyaluronic acid was the Israeli company Bio-Technology General (Israel) Ltd. The company was founded in 1980 by Prof. Haim Aviv and Prof. Marian Gorecki with the aim of developing and manufacturing advanced biotechnological medicines.
Dr. Kanner and Dr. Havron, BTG employees, decided to examine the possibility of using the unique hyaluronic acid originally created by the company for use in eye surgery, in order to treat people suffering from osteoarthritis. This decision necessitated an increase in product volume and the conduct of human clinical trials.
The study’s hypothesis was confirmed. Injection of the acid into knee joints of patients suffering from the pre-joint replacement stage of degenerative arthritis was indeed found to provide months of pain relief and enable a high quality of life for long periods between treatments. Furthermore, the product was shown to possess an excellent safety profile and incurred very few reported side effects.
In 2002, BTG commenced marketing of the hyaluronic acid injections, targeted for orthopedic use, under the tradename Arthrease. This name was subsequently changed and the product is now marketed in Israel and abroad under the name Euflexxa.
In 2005, BTG was acquired by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a Swiss multi-national corporation. However, the company continues to develop and manufacture its products in Israel. Today, the company produces approximately 2 million Euflexxa injections a year. By the end of 2016, the product had been registered in 55 countries and sold more than 12 million injections worldwide.