The South Korean government has approved the sale a stem cell drug, which uses cord blood stem cells to repair damaged knee cartilage. The decision presents a breakthrough in the worldwide stem cell market, as it introduces one of the world’s first-ever stem cell drugs.  

While there are other stem cell drugs on the market, such as Neurostem and Promostem, Cartistem sets itself apart as the “World’s First Allogeneic, Off-the-Shelf, Stem Cell Drug” 

Cartistem has been developed by Medipost, a pharmaceutical firm based in Seoul.  The firm has been working on the drug since 2001, using nearly $23 million from private investors and government funding to make the development possible.  

The new drug can be used to help repair articular cartilage in patients’ knees. Whether the damage is a result of acute trauma or arthritis, Cartistem aims to help patients recover from their injuries. Clinical trials in South Korea have proven that the drug has the ability to regenerate cartilage in the knee.  

According to Medipost, the United States will soon be conducting its own clinical trials, after recently receiving Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial approval from the FDA for Cartistem. The report also states that two of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies have sought out international licenses allowing them to manufacturer the new drug.


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South Korea Approves Sale of Stem Cell Drug