CartilaGen receives early-stage funding from Wellmark

CartilaGen, an Iowa City-based startup that is developing the world’s first preventative therapy for post-traumatic osteoarthritis, has received funding from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The award will bolster CartilaGen’s development of its preventive solution for post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) as the company is set to begin its first in-human clinical trial.

Medical startup incubator MATTER has also added its name to the growing list of CartilaGen’s partners. One of the September additions to MATTER’s community of over 200 healthcare startups and 60 corporate partners, CartilaGen, as a global member, will receive mentorship and guidance from MATTER that will propel it into the next stages of product development.

“CartilaGen is very excited to have the institutional backing of Wellmark. Their unique combination of both financial and advisory support will prove strong contributions to CartilaGen’s commercialization effort,” said Jaison Marks, CEO and founder of CartilaGen. “Additionally, we are very honored to join the MATTER community. Collaborating with MATTER’s network of healthcare innovators will certainly accelerate the development of CartilaGen and our novel therapeutic towards the fulfillment of a major unmet medical need.”

PTOA is a profoundly debilitating condition that affects approximately 3% of the entire United States population annually. It is an aggressive form of osteoarthritis that results from traumatic joint injury, has devastating effects on patients, and current treatment options are limited and ineffective before end-stage joint replacement. CartilaGen has the only solution that effectively targets and prevents the earliest stage of PTOA development by modifying the underlying disease mechanism in an easily performed, cost-effective manner.

CartilaGen’s technology has previously received funding from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the US Department of Defense.


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