Advanced PeRsOnalized
Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Tackling Inflammation to Improve Patient Outcomes


Our Purpose, Our Mission

PROTO will develop novel interventional strategies aimed at tackling the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA)

The PROTO partners, from academic and industrial backgrounds are world-leading experts in OA research and treatment. They have demonstrable expertise in using omics platforms, cellular immunology, molecular biomarkers, physiology, biomechanics and stem cell biology and are actively involved in performing groundbreaking clinical studies, in particular also with advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs). Within PROTO we have joined forces to address the key feature of OA progression – inflammation.


The Challenge

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic progressive joint disorder, characterized by inflammation causing pain, stiffness, swelling and gradual loss of joint function.

Within PROTO we have joined forces to address the key feature of OA progression – inflammation.

We intend to do this in a two-pronged approach addressing different early inflammatory disease stages.



PROTO aims to halt and partially reverse the structural and functional changes caused by inflammatory processes in OA.

Our ambitious goal is to introduce: (i) a highly innovative anti-inflammatory local placental derived cell therapy in early-stage OA patients and (ii) a personalized sensor-based training intervention intended to prevent inflammation and OA onset during a crucially important ‘window of opportunity’ by correcting pathological movement patterns in pre-stage OA patients.



Within the funding period PROTO aims to create a reliable, sustainable and evidence-based concept for tackling inflammation in pre- and early-stage OA, which can be used in future therapeutic interventions to prevent OA development and progression.



In brief, patients with early-stage knee OA will be included in a first in human phase I/IIa study, which investigates anti-inflammatory PLX-PAD cell therapy. Patients with pre-stage OA will undergo an innovative high level personalized sensor- and app based training intervention. The project includes cutting edge ancillary studies in order to define immune-mediated mechanisms in the patients (in and ex vivo) and the identification of immunologic, metabolic, genetic and also MRI-based morphologic biomarkers, which will enable patient stratification and disease and therapy monitoring.

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PROTO partners

The PROTO consortium gathers experts and institutions from different sectors, from academia to SMEs and patient organizations.

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