The value of viscosupplementation26 January 2022
IBSA, which has always been committed to innovation and to offering therapeutic solutions of real value, is expanding its therapeutic portfolio in the osteoarticular area with a new medical device for viscosupplementation. The purpose of the viscosupplementation is to restore the physiological characteristics of the synovial fluid by intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid (HA). Hyaluronic acid is a fundamental component of synovial fluid and the main substance responsible for its unique characteristics and functions, i.e. lubricating the joint when at rest and acting as a shock absorber, to protect the joint from impact, when in motion. When age, wear and tear or disease (osteoarthritis) deplete the synovial fluid of hyaluronic acid, it can be beneficial to supplement it by intra-articular injections and this therapy, also known as viscosupplementation, is all the more effective the closer the characteristics of the formulation used are to those of healthy synovial fluid. IBSA has focused its efforts and commitment in this direction, in order to develop the solution that best satisfies the objectives and needs of both doctors and patients. Thanks to the excellent know-how of its R&D department and collaborations with leading Italian research centres, over the years, the company has introduced continuous innovations in order to optimise its therapeutic portfolio. IBSA's first-generation hyaluronic acid, belonging to the linear hyaluronic acids class, consists of medical devices containing ultrapure, biofermentation-derived, non-chemically modified, single-molecular-weight HA.
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Within this class IBSA developed several formulations with increasing concentrations, to achieve the maximum concentration of 20 mg/mL. After several years of research, the company developed and patented its NAHYCO® technology, which heralded the era of hybrid hyaluronic acids: complexing high- and low-molecular-weight HA after a heat treatment made it possible to achieve a concentration of 32 mg/mL, thus overcoming the 20 mg/mL reached previously. In order to further optimise the rheology and performance of its medical devices, IBSA applied NAHYCO® Hybrid Technology to obtain a formulation composed of high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid and a new component, biofermented sodium chondroitin, which was produced and patented for the very first time by IBSA.
The new medical device is able to mimic the rheological behaviour of healthy synovial fluid and enable early management of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, improving the quality of life of patients who suffer from this condition immediately, safely and in the long term.