World’s First Allogeneic Stem Cell Drug


CARTISTEM®, the Allogeneic Umbilical Cord Blood-derived MesenchymalStem Cell drug, is for the treatment of knee cartilage defects in patients with Osteoarthritis (ICRS grade IV) caused by degeneration or repetitive trauma.

ICRS grade : A diagnostic grading tool for the knee cartilage defect.
Grade IV is the most severe stage.
Product Name
Treatment of knee cartilage defects in patients withOsteoarthritis (OA) due to degeneration or repetitivetrauma
2.5 x 106 cells/500㎕/㎠
(Area of the knee cartilage defect)

Commercialization of CARTISTEM®

CARTISTEM® has been approved of its commercial use
by the Ministry of Food & Drug Safety in January 2012.

Other Treatments for Knee Cartilage Defect

Microfracture is an arthrosopic operation that involves drilling small holes in the subchondral bone. The operation induces bleeding of stem cells from bone marrow into the defect area, which then leads to regeneration of these stem cells into cartilage and bone of treated area.
The operation takes about 30 min~1 hour and requires hospitalization for about 2~3 days.

  • It is a method frequently used to treat cartilage lesion and has been reported with relatively favorable results.
  • Upon microfracture, the number of stem cells leaked from the bone marrow is not enough for complete regeneration and the generated cartilage is known to be fibrous cartilage. Because of such incomplete regeneration, it has been reported that the effect of microfracture is limited as the fibrous cartilage cannot endure the external impact for a long period of time.
  • The effect of microfracture has been reported to be poor for the patients with large lesion and the patients older than 50 years. Also, the treatment could cause the formation of subchondral cyst in some cases due to the fracture of the subchondral bone.
  • 손상된 연골 부위
  • 골수강 내 출혈을 유도
  • 수술도구를 이용하여 뼈와 구멍을 만듬
  • 수술후

Total Knee Arthroplasty is an operation method for severely damaged osteoarthritis patients. The treatment can alleviate the pain and improve a range of motion by replacing with the artificial joint, providing an effective operation with insured results.

There are a total knee replacement for the entire joint and partial replacement that only replaces the damaged area. The total operation takes about 2 hours, requiring 3~4 weeks of hospitalization.

The operation involves removal of damaged cartilages and bone and the insertion of artificial joints.

While there are many types of artificial joints that can substitute for the knee joints depending on the materials and shapes,
all of them are classified into the following 3 types by the body parts which they replace;

  • A part replacing the femur (made of steel that has been processed very smoothly)
  • A part replacing the tibia (made of dual plastic with the attachment of a steel plate)
  • A patella part (plastic material)

While the effective period varies depending on the product, TKR is typically effective for about 15 years, and requires frequent post-operational visits to the hospital for examinations of infections. Total knee replacement may cause pain as the operation involves an opening of the joint and the excision of the bones, but the pain reduces after about 2~3 months.

  • Removing damaged
    cartilage and bone

  • Arrangement of the
    artificial joint to the
    leg position

  • Insertion of the
    artificial joint

According to the medical law Article 53 Clause 3 and rule Article 4 on the evaluation of new medical technology, the evaluation result for the safety and effectiveness of new medical technology has been revised and announced as Announcement No. 2012-1 (January 2, 2012) by The Ministry of Health & Welfare as follows.

Treatment Purpose
  • It shall be used for the purpose of tissue regeneration.
  • Patients with cartilage defect
    ① Patients between 15 and 50 years old
    ② Cartilage defect due to traumatic injury, etc. (ICRS Grade 3-4)
    ③ Maximum size of cartilage defect: 2~10cm2
  • Harvested autologous bone marrow undergoes the centrifugal separation, and bone marrow stem cells are isolated. The harvested stem cells are transplanted arthroscopically in the defect area. Operation takes about 1 hour and 30 min with 1~2 weeks of hospitalization.
  • 골수강 내 출혈을 유도

    Bone Marrow Collection

  • 수술도구를 이용하여 뼈와 구멍을 만듬

    Centrifugal Separation

  • 수술후

    Transplantation Using Support