1st PPP in biomedical research produces knee replacement system fit for Asians

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, July 3 (PNA) — The first public-private partnership (PPP) in biomedical research between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Orthopedic International Inc. (OII), a Filipino manufacturing company, has resulted to the development of a knee replacement system especially designed for Asians, the Axis Knee System.

According to PCHRD, about 180,000 Filipinos are prescribed with total knee replacement (TKR) every year. However, only about 2,000 of them are able to undergo the procedure since a TKR surgery in the country costs PhP 250,000 to PhP450,000.

The PCHRD noted that while some can afford the procedure, the risk for a failed knee implant is a common problem faced by Asians. This is because most implants were designed for Caucasian bones.

The Axis Knee System is especially designed for the Asian anatomy, thus lessening the risk for failed implant. It is the only knee replacement system manufactured in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, and costs 40-50 percent lower than imported knee implants.

Furthermore, it has a unique instrumentation and surgical technique that doctors can easily learn even without undergoing a one-year program usually required in many knee implant procedures. Thus, this would enable more doctors to perform the procedure.

The OII, chaired by Dr. Ramon Gustilo, an orthopedic surgeon, developed the Axis Knee System. Gustilo headed the team of developers composed of Filipino engineers and orthopedic surgeons.

Meanwhile, one may see the Axis Knee System on July 24-28 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. It will be one of the DOST-PCHRD funded projects to be featured during the National Science and Technology Week celebration. (PNA)