Some 300,000 Quebecers / 1.2 million Canadians suffering from knee osteoarthritis will now benefit from a fast, lasting pain relief solution thanks to the OdrA orthotic device, a new generation of orthotics launched exclusively on Canadian markets by Quebec firm Ergoresearch (TSX VENTURE: ERG).
The name OdrA - French acronym for Orthese de Distraction et Rotation pour Arthrose - summarizes how it works: OA distraction-rotation orthotic device. Backed and developed by Proteor, Ergoresearch's partner and France's leading orthopedic apparatus provider, the worldwide patented orthotic device is the result of global research, development and marketing. Its unique mechanism improves knee mobility by decreasing pain-causing intra-articular pressure.
According to a recent report by the Arthritis Alliance of Canada, direct and indirect costs associated with osteoarthritis soared to $27.5M in Canada in 2010, $7.2M of which were attributed to knee OA. Ergoresearch intends to position itself among the leaders in the treatment of this pathology. "The orthotic device's significant benefits and immediate effectiveness on pain, and the resounding success of its clinical studies conducted in Quebec during the pre-launch phase allow us to be optimistic about what this could signify in terms of future economic spin-offs for the firm," states Ergoresearch president and CEO Sylvain Boucher. "An arsenal of therapeutic solutions except knee replacement surgery often leaves patients wishing for more and seeking alternatives. We believe this new generation of orthotic device meets a very real demand, and its adoption by the medical community and by arthritis sufferers will make a clean sweep."
"Our orthotists are working in tandem with doctors to deploy this new form of treatment - first in Quebec, across the network formed by the Clinique du pied Equilibre and Orthoconcept banners," says Sylvain Boucher.
A Mechanical Solution for a Mechanical Problem
Knee osteoarthritis is characterized by the wear and deformity of cartilage covering the femur and tibia bone extremities, causing pain linked to friction between joint surfaces. "Compared to traditional devices, the OdrA mechanism's exclusive distraction-rotation combination is dynamic, and it only functions when appropriate, once the leg is fully extended," explains Ergoresearch's vice-president of research and development, Louis Desrosiers. "By combining a slight external rotation of the foot with a distraction, which is when the space between the tibia and the femur is extended, the mechanism decreases the weight on the medial knee compartment and lightens load bearing, thereby lessening pain and providing the joint with greater mobility," he adds.
Francois Archambault counts among the patients who took part in Ergoresearch's Quebec pre-launch. "I spent many years seeking pain relief in a range of therapeutic and drug treatments. Nothing provides effective, immediate pain relief like the OdrA. Since wearing the orthotic device, no pain, no side effects. I can go out for walks and play golf."
Osteoarthritis: A Major Public Health Issue
An aging population, the rising prevalence of knee osteoarthritis, the high costs of OA treatments and the absence of truly effective solutions represent very real public health issues, according to Sylvain Boucher. "The healthcare system is required to stretch every dollar further. In a context where priorities are manifold, this advance in the area of knee OA has been long awaited. OdrA can contribute by improving the quality of life of countless sufferers who struggle with knee osteoarthritis, and help them resume daily activities while significantly decreasing their reliance on painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication - and in certain cases, eliminating it entirely."
Proven Effectiveness Based on 12-Month Clinical Study
"Etude Orfevre, a study conducted at the Dijon University Hospital (CHU Dijon, France) in 2010, combined with follow-up among participants who wore the device over a 12-month period have revealed that 85% of patients rated their condition as improved or significantly improved," stated Ergoresearch's Louis Desrosiers. "The results of the study, which was conducted according to international gonarthrosis standards of reference, demonstrate that of all the treatments currently available on the market, with the exception of knee replacement surgery, the OdrA device is the only one that significantly relieves pain," he added. After evaluation and comparison, the orthotic device shows a 1.8 range of effectiveness on a scale where the significant pain relief threshold is 0.8 (low: less than 0.5; moderate: 0.5 - 0.8; significant: greater than 0.8).
Treatment is 100% Guaranteed or Money Back
Adapted to each patient's body shape, the OdrA orthotic device is custom made on prescription from comfortable, light, durable materials, making it easy to wear an average 10 hours per day. "Each patient receives comprehensive, personalized care provided by a duly qualified and certified team," points out Sylvain Boucher. "Because OdrA's biomechanical effect is proven, Ergoresearch will not hesitate to offer a full refund should discomfort prevent a patient from wearing it, or if no significant pain relief has been detected within a three-month period following the date of delivery," stated Ergoresearch's president and CEO, adding that the device is not covered by the Regie de l'assurance maladie du Quebec but confirming that it is covered by most private insurance plans.
Groupe Proteor was founded in Burgundy (Bourgogne, FR) almost 100 years ago. First specializing in providing prosthesis to the handicapped, Proteor rapidly spread its activities to designing the components required for manufacturing the actual devices. Groupe Proteor listens carefully to the professionals from its milieu, and to the individuals whom life has partially deprived of their autonomy and wellness. In full respect of these values, it now develops a full range of products and services in France and around the globe, destined to compensate for physical handicaps, be they temporary or permanent. Today it remains an independent family group, owned and operated by the Pierron family. Thanks to major investments towards innovation, an unwavering commitment to improve its services and backed by strong medical, scientific and commercial partnership policies, Proteor has affirmed itself as the French leader in external orthopedics, and as a recognized actor on the world stage.
Since 2005, Ergoresearch has developed Quebec's leading network of orthotics clinics, with over 60 corporate and satellite centres under the Clinique du pied Equilibre and Orthoconcept banners. The leading manufacturer of 'intelligent' foot orthotics and specialty orthotics, it is a trend-setter in creating durable medical equipment and software for the orthopedics market. Ergoresearch was the first to develop and commercialize an autocorrecting podo-barometric pad that relies on two distinct software programs to ensure the quality and performance of the orthotics it produces. The firm is involved in a number of research projects with institutions such as Universite Laval, and College Merici's Centre de solutions technologiques en ortheses et protheses (CSTOP) in Quebec City. Ergoresearch Ltd is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX VENTURE) under the TSX-V Symbol: ERG.
Certain statements in this Press Release contain forward-looking statements and information that may entail certain risks related to uncertainties. Such statements are based on management's expectations and no assurance can be given that potential future results or circumstances described in the forward looking statements will be achieved or will occur. Such risks factors include, but are not limited to, those related to the Corporation's ability to finance its activities, competition, ability to negociate and maintain partnerships, the market acceptance of the said product, fluctuations in operating results, the impact of general economics, industry and market conditions, the ability to recruit and retain qualified employees, the success of research and development programs, fluctuations in cash flow, expectations regarding market demand for particular products, the strength of intellectual property, market dependence on new product development, the trust invested in sub-contractors or their core personnel, as well as other documents containing risks and uncertainties which are put forth every now and then by the firm to various Canadian securities and exchange commissions and made available at www.sedar.com.
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View the OdrA animated video to discover its exclusive mechanism.
High resolution images also available: OdrA_Media.
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Contacts: Sylvain Boucher President and CEO Ergoresearch Ltd 450-973-6700, ext. 213