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PLoS One. 2018 Mar 9;13(3):e0191796. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191796. eCollection 2018.

Randomized controlled trial demonstrates the benefit of RGTA® based matrix therapy to treat tendinopathies in racing horses.

Author information

Centre d'Imagerie et de Recherche sur les Affections Locomotrices Equines, Ecole Nationale vétérinaire d'Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France.
Unité Sous Contrat 957, Biomécanique et Pathologie Locomotrice du Cheval, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Ecole Nationale vétérinaire d'Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France.
Clinique du Molinel, Marcq en Baroeul, France.
Episcience, London, United Kingdom.
Organ, Tissue, Regeneration, Repair and Replacement Société Actions Simplifiés, Paris, France.
Laboratoire de recherche sur la Croissance Cellulaire, Réparation, et Régénération Tissulaire, Faculté des Sciences, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Créteil, France.


A randomized controlled trial was performed on racing horses, to evaluate the efficacy of a new class of therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine-ReGeneraTing Agents® (RGTA®), to treat tendinopathies. Preliminary uncontrolled studies on tendon healing in racing horses with RGTA® (OTR4131)-Equitend® showed encouraging results, justifying performing a randomized, controlled, multicenter study with a two-year racing performance follow up. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Equitend® versus placebo on acute superficial digital flexor tendonitis in racing French Standardbred Trotters (ST). Twenty-two ST were randomly and blindly assigned to receive with a ratio of 2 to 1, a single Equitend® (n = 14) or placebo (n = 8) intralesional injection under ultrasonographic guidance. Horses were evaluated over 4 months, by clinical and ultrasonographic evaluations (day 0, months 1, 2, 4), and their racing performances followed up over the 2 years after treatment. During the first month of treatment, a significant decrease in the cross-sectional area (CSA) was found in the Equitend® group (p = 0.04). After 4 months, the number of Equitend® treated horses with an improved CSA was significantly higher than the placebo-treated horses (p = 0.03571). The Equitend® group returned to their pre-injury performance level, racing in, and winning, significantly more races than the placebo group (p = 0.01399 and 0.0421, respectively). Furthermore, recurrence was significantly higher in the placebo group than in the Equitend® group (71.4% vs 16.6%, p = 0.02442). In conclusion, we measured a significant, short-term, reduction effect on CSA and demonstrated a long-term beneficial effect of intralesional injection of Equitend® for the treatment of superficial digital flexor tendonitis on racing ST, racing 2. 3 times more often than placebo, with 3.3 times fewer recurrences maintaining pre-injury performance level. This study may open the way for the development of a human treatment of tendonitis.

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