09 October 2019 | Interviews
Dr Venkatesh Movva specializes in sports medicine and pain management.
RegenOrthoSport, a treatment facility by Dr. Venkatesh Movva in Hyderabad and Mumbai uses a patient’s own blood or bone marrow to concentrate on living cells and other potentially beneficial agents and treats patients who have damaged or degenerated bone, cartilage, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. It was founded in India in 2016. Originally from the U.S.A., RegenOrthoSport is the only facility that provides stem cell treatments for orthopedics in South-east Asia.
To find out more about this technology, Vallari Mathure at BioSpectrum interacted with Dr Movva, who has done around 2000 stem cell procedures in India and the U.S mostly for sportspersons and individuals with knee, shoulder, elbow, hip, spine, ankle, foot, hand, and wrist problems under Interventional Orthopedics.
What is regenerative orthopedics?
It is a natural way of curing the body without the use of invasive surgery. It has advantages over traditional surgical means. Right from the healing of bone due to trauma, tumor or infection to tendon or ligament healing, cartilage defects, stem cell use may revolutionize Orthopedics.
How does stem cell therapy have better effects in contrast to the present conventional procedures?
We cannot say it’s a better option as there are some cases where still interventional procedures may be required but definitely there are a few advantages, first there is no need for hospitalization of patients, its walk in walk out, secondly as this procedure involves no cutting or surgery, the healing process is faster and the main thing is you are essentially using your own tissue for treating a damaged or deteriorated one. So this process is very less invasive.
What challenges do you think are prevalent when stem cell therapy in India is considered?
When you think of this procedure in India, the main aspect is the acceptance towards it. Also when any new technology comes it definitely takes time for people to have knowledge about it and have awareness regarding its benefits, so I think reaching out to people and giving them this option is the main challenge.
How do professional athletes benefit from this treatment?
Actually I think that’s where awareness about stem cell began, a lot of people started to get information about it as various football players or other players started using it and getting benefitted from it. I was initially only performing stem cell therapy on professional players as they were willing to try and had the resources for it. During the further years we also found out that this can also be used for non athletes. But definitely this has become a boon for professionals as it can literally extend their career much more and get benefitted from it.
Stem cell therapy is now being explored for treatment of various rare/ degenerative diseases, what are priority research areas for REGENEXX?
There is lot of research ongoing n application of stem cells in various neurological conditions or rare diseases, as Regenexx is a specialized and dedicated for orthopedic treatments, all are research currently is focused on that. We can say that there is a potential for exploring this for other conditions, but stem cells are being used to treat orthopedic conditions from last 15 years, hence it’s much more established than other areas.
What are the future prospects for Regen Ortho Sport
Currently we have two centers servicing Mumbai and Hyderabad and we get tremendous interest in different areas from people across country and outside as well. We are trying to reach out to more people in various cities and giving them the sort of treatment in their vicinity and expanding our facility in future.
What are the regulatory challenges that stem cell therapy face, and is there is need for more stringency?
We offer all the treatments that are FDA compliant, they have not been approved even in the USA but definitely they allow you to do it once you have the research and you are FDA compliant. But for regulations we can say that it’s a moving ball literally as we go on, new regulations are placed. We are willing to help authorities set up some regulatory guidelines so that these treatments are done responsibly and no one takes undue advantage of people on the receiving end of these treatments.