Sports Surgery Clinic Plays Leading Role in European Clinical Trial on Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Prevention of progression of Osteoarthritis will improve the lives of millions of sufferers

Tuesday, 12th May 2015: The Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry has today announced it’s participation in the ADIPOA-2 stem cell trial for Osteoarthritis (OA), the aim of which is to find treatment(s) for the disease and prevent it’s progression.

This large-scale clinical trial using adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis is expected to be underway across Europe by the end of 2015. Almost €6 million has been granted to the project ‘ADIPOA-2’ by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an incurable and degenerative disease of the joints. Osteoarthritis has been identified as the eleventh highest contributor to disability and affects over 70 million people throughout Europe. There is currently no treatment to prevent progression of the disease.

ADIPOA-2 is contributing to the development of a novel cellular therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The Sports Surgery Clinic’s participation in the programme is being led by Professor Cathal Moran, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Professor and Chair of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Sports Surgery Clinic and Trinity College Dublin.

Sports Surgery Clinic is one of Ireland’s leading providers of clinical care in orthopaedics and sports medicine. Professor Cathal Moran has extensive international clinical and academic experience in orthobiological therapies as an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in Knee and Shoulder surgery and shall act as the Lead Knee Surgeon at SSC for ADIPOA-2. Under Professor Cathal Moran’s direction, Sports Surgery Clinic will facilitate the recruitment and treatment or trial participants as part of the multicentre international trial.

The overall scientific programme is being led by Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. ADIPOA is a multi-phase programme of research in exploring new treatments for Osteoarthritis. In its first phase, the EU consortium ADIPOA1 carried out a first-in-man Phase I safety study in 18 patients. This study demonstrated that a single dose of stem cells cultured from the patients’ own fatty tissue (autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASCs)) injected into the knee was well tolerated, had no adverse effects, and resulted in an improvement in pain score and functional outcome. The results of this were sufficiently encouraging to warrant a larger, multi-centre Phase 2b trial to further test the safety and efficacy of autologous (patient derived) ACSs in the treatment of advanced OA of the knee. ADIPOA-2 will now build on the work of ADIPOA1 to deliver a randomised clinical trial across 10 hospitals in Europe involving 150 patients.

Speaking about the research Professor Cathal Moran said, “We are delighted at Sports Surgery Clinic to be participating in this landmark international clinical trial. Finding new ways to help delay the deterioration of joints caused by Osteoarthritis will improve the lives of millions of people worldwide, relieving them from debilitating pain, and helping them to continue an active life. Large scale stem cell research is in itself incredibly exciting and we look forward to contributing in the next phase of the programme. The specialised environment of Sports Surgery Clinic is an ideal environment in which to deliver highly regulated and controlled clinical trials”.

The international ADIPOA-2 clinical team includes clinicians from ten centres across Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and two in Ireland – Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, and REMEDI in Galway. The first meetings of the ADIPOA-2 team took place in December last year in Paris, followed up by plenary planning meetings in Dublin in January 2015. The clinical trial will be delivered in conjunction with the National Clinical Research Facilities in Galway and Dublin. Clinical trial arrangements are being put in place at the partner institutes across Europe and Ireland and patient recruitment is anticipated in the first quarter of 2016.

Anyone interested in the programme; patients, doctors and other healthcare providers, are welcome to contact Professor Cathal Moran or Sports Surgery Clinic for more information. See and

For more information please contact:

Mary Gleeson | 086 2213077 |

About Professor Cathal Moran:

Professor Cathal Moran is the Professor and Chair of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry. He has also recently been appointed Honorary Professor at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and a Professorial Fellow of Trinity.

The new Academic Orthopaedic Unit at Trinity is only the second such academic unit in Ireland. In addition to it’s base in Orthopaedic Surgery, this is also the first ever Chair of Sports Medicine at an Irish University. The venture between Sports Surgery Clinic and Trinity College Dublin also represents the first time the clinical component of a Chair in a surgical discipline is hosted by a private hospital.

The Academic Unit of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine will be be officially opened with the Inaugural Lecture of Cathal Moran, Professor of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Trinity on May 13th at 18.00pm in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.

Professor Moran’s sub-specialty clinical interest is in the management of soft tissue and sports injuries, including ACL and ligament reconstruction, cartilage injury, meniscus repair and replacement, limb alignment surgery, rotator cuff and shoulder stabilisation surgery. He also performs shoulder and knee replacement surgery.

The new Academic Unit of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine led by Professor Moran is based in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. The clinical host for the Chair is Sports Surgery Clinic and the unit functions in collaboration with Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, and affiliated clinical sites.

In terms of research activity Professor Moran is a Principal Investigator at Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, RCSI Bioengineering and AMBER research centres. He links research at these centres to the development new options for treatment in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Sports Surgery Clinic. His specific interest is in cartilage and soft tissue repair and regeneration, including the delivery of clinical trials in stem cell and biological treatment options for musculoskeletal injury and disease. Sports Surgery Clinic is host to many of these new trials.

Professor Moran completed his early training in Ireland, followed by sub-specialty training at the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and Shoulder Fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery and Cornell Medical College in New York, the Cartilage Repair Centre at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Antwerp Orthopaedic Centre in Belgium.  He has also completed research periods at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in Ireland; University of California, San Francisco; UC Irvine, California and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has worked extensively with professional athletes and teams across Ireland, the US and Europe, and has published over 50 papers and given over 200 presentations internationally.