Adult stem cell specialist Mesoblast of Australia will start testing its stem cell technology in humans, after receiving ethics approval for its first orthopaedic study.

Pre-clinical animal studies have already shown that Mesoblast’s technology is safe and able to generate new bone growth, but this trial will be the first time that it is tested in humans.

Mesoblast Limited is an Australian biotechnology company committed to the development of novel treatments for orthopaedic conditions, including the commercialisation of a unique adult stem cell technology aimed at the regeneration and repair of bone and cartilage.

The independent trial will involve up to 10 patients with long bone fractures that have failed to heal properly and will primarily test the safety of the stem cell therapy. Results could be available by July.

Stephen Graves, who will act as principal investigator throughout the trial, said that between 5 and 10 per cent of tibial fractures were associated with healing difficulties.

“Significant problems often occur in this field that lead to substantial pain, loss of mobility, and therefore reduced quality of life for many patients,” Professor Graves said. “Patients enrolled in the trial have limited options available to them and have likely been through several previous procedures.”

Mesoblast website [www.mesoblast.com] .