The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in our body. The cartilage in our knees is a crucial part that does the most load-bearing of the weight. To this date, cartilage damage in the knee affects millions of people worldwide with a continued rise in incidence. Since cartilage does not have self-healing capabilities, the mobility of these patients is on the path to be drastically and permanently impeded.


Currently, the only conventional solutions are symptoms (pain, stiffness) management, microfracture and in the end, micentirely replacing the joint with a prosthesis. Lately, cell therapies have emerged as a solution to regenerate cartilage e.g. tissue engineered autologous chondrocyte implantations (ACIs). ACIs, though less invasive, face the problem that recovery is very slow and produce low quality cartilage. This makes that these implants often fail to integrate with the surrounding tissue which results to failure rates up to 36%.


Researchers from the Strasbourg University and Inserm have invented ARTiREG. This new cell therapy aims to improve the cell approach by an innovative scaffold that houses Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for optimal regeneration of the cartilage. By combining this patented scaffold together with growth factors and the MSCs, the product ensures fast recovery and high quality cartilage.


This approach has been proven to reach superior bone tissue formation in vitro as well as in vivo, following implantation in a animal bone defect model. As the product is finished with the preclinical phase, it is ready to initiate the phase I/II trials.

Meet the team


Stephan Lemmens



Gábor Heltovics

Venture Partner at NLC

Gábor joined NLC in June 2022. In his most recent endeavour, he was the CEO of a virtual speciality biopharmaceutical company, Tavanta Therapeutics. Under Gábor’s guidance, Tavanta secured over $55 million in funding and grew from a 2-person company to an organisation with 5 pivotal clinical stage compounds for major indications such as oncology and pain, as well as an innovative pre-clinical pipeline following closely in their footsteps. Gábor will apply his experience at NLC as a venture partner to build ventures and advance health.