ReNu Update: Cryopreserved Human Amniotic Suspension Allograft for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Pilot Study

ReNu, as previously discussed, is cryopreserved human amniotic membrane (HAM) and human amniotic fluid derived cells, which include “stem cells” (HAFCs). This tissue is obtained from healthy volunteer donors. Specifically, this is NOT fetal tissue. It is the fluid and the placenta that would normally be discarded at childbirth. Fortunately, with preservation and separation of the layers of the placenta, the amnion layer and cells can be preserved to make use of their unique properties.

While promoted for knee arthritis use by many companies and physicians across the United States, this specific use to treat knee arthritis has not been thoroughly scientifically studied. The CRC and NuTech Medical teamed for a pilot study to determine safety and whether there was potential for efficacy (does it work?). The pilot study involved 6 patients with end-stage knee arthritis. Their responses were monitored both clinically and systemically with overview by a Harvard Rheumatologist/Immunologist (see article below) and an independent orthopedic surgeon. The promising result of the pilot study were published in the Journal of Knee Surgery and may be viewed on the Publications page.

The conclusions were that ReNu was safe and there were suggestions it did decrease arthritic symptoms in most of the patients. The conclusions of the study were:

“Overall, this open-label pilot study indicates that a single intra-articular injection of ASA is feasible in patients with knee osteoarthritis.  Preliminary data suggests intra-articular ASA is safe and does not result in laboratory changes consistent with immunosuppression or inflammation. Furthermore, ASA injection mitigated pain and improved functional outcomes in patients with knee OA, although a placebo effect cannot be excluded. A larger, placebo controlled trial is underway to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of intra-articular ASA for the treatment of symptomatic knee OA.”  Vines et al, JKS 2015.