NuQu® Cell-Based Therapy

A Nonsurgical Solution to Back Pain

NuQu, currently in clinical trials, is designed to relieve back pain by stopping and repairing the progression of degenerative disc disease before invasive surgery becomes necessary.

The Unmet Need

Back pain is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the United States and a leading cause of disability1. For the millions of Americans who live with chronic pain as a result of spinal disc degeneration, there are few effective treatment options. They can hope that conservative methods, such as bed rest and medication, will provide relief, or they can elect to undergo costly surgical procedures that may limit mobility. In the United States alone, more than 400,000 lumbar discectomies and 500,000 spinal fusions are performed each year2. However, these treatments do not address the underlying degeneration or restore the disc to its natural function.

ISTO’s Solution

ISTO is developing NuQu to alleviate back pain by resolving one of the major root causes: degenerated discs. Intended for use as an early treatment option for mild to moderate spinal disc degeneration, NuQu has the potential to repair disc structure and may prevent further deterioration.

NuQu is comprised of juvenile chondrocyte cells that have been produced using ISTO’s cartilage regeneration platform.

These cells have proven to possess far greater regenerative potential than adult chondrocytes and are known to be immune-privileged3,4. During a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, the culture-expanded cells are injected percutaneously into the nucleus of a degenerated disc simultaneously with a commercially available fibrin. The NuQu disperses throughout the disc and fills in annular fissures.

Ongoing clinical studies have shown some preliminary evidence that NuQu restores both nucleus structure and disc height5. This breakthrough approach to treatment may provide a life-changing, long-term solution to back pain, while greatly reducing both the time and cost associated with treatment and rehabilitation.

The Advantages of NuQu

  • A nonsurgical, one-step approach to treatment avoids the need to remove the degenerated disc.
  • Addressing the root cause of back pain may provide long-term relief
  • Juvenile cell–based technology offers superior regenerative properties and integration compared to treatments that use adult cells.
  • Scalable production helps to meet commercial demand.

For more information

Call Customer Service at 1-888-705-ISTO (4786).

Read more
about the science behind NuQu.

NuQu is currently being investigated in ongoing clinical trials for safety and efficacy. Learn more about our ongoing clinical trials and how to participate.

A Shared Excitement

“We’re not focused on just using a piece of hardware to repair the body or for facilitating a temporary fix. We’re really trying to bring patients back to where they were before they suffered their injury.”

-Michaela Purcell, ISTO Senior Director of Clinical Operations

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults—United States, 1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001;50:120–125.
  2. Sherman J, Cauthen J, Schoenberg D, et al. Economic impact of improving outcomes of lumbar discectomy. Spine J 2010;10:108–16.
  3. Adkisson HD, Gillis MP, Davis EC, Maloney WJ, Hruska KA. In vitro generation of scaffold independent neocartilage. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001;391S:S280–S294.
  4. Adkisson HD, Milliman C, Zhang X, Mauch K, Maziarz RT, and Streeter PR. Immune evasion by neocartilage-derived chondrocytes: Implications for biologic repair of joint articular cartilage. Stem Cell Research. 2010: 4: 57–68.
  5. Coric D, Pettine K, Sumich A, and Boltes MO. Prospective study of disc repair with allogeneic chondrocytes: Presented at the 2012 Joint Spine Section Meeting. J Neurosurg Spin. 2013: 18(1): 85-95. [Epub ahead of print Nov 9 2012].

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