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CartilaGen Wins Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition And Receives $25,000 Award

DES MOINES, Iowa, September 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ —

CartilaGen, Inc., a medical technology startup spun out from the University of Iowa’s Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, announced today that the company has been named the second-place winner of the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition and received a $25,000 award along with this recognition. CartilaGen is focused on achieving developmental and regulatory milestones involved with the commercialization of its frontline product: a novel therapeutic capable of preventing osteoarthritis after a traumatic injury. 


The Company’s technology will allow clinicians to provide an effective solution for preventing post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). CartilaGen’s product is a drug-eluting, bioactive hydrogel, administered through a routine, intra-articular injection procedure, designed for cartilage injuries and early-stage osteoarthritis patients. This invention has been validated with several preclinical experimental models and awarded funding by the US Department of Defense to support the first-in-human clinical investigation. This trial, sponsored through the University of Iowa, will be a combined phase I/IIa investigation scheduled to enroll 66 patients between the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Indiana University Health system. CartilaGen’s treatment is the only solution that effectively targets the earliest stage of PTOA development and treats the underlying disease mechanism in an easily performed, cost-effective manner. 


“We’re very excited to receive this recognition from the premier startup competition within the State of Iowa,” said Jaison Marks, MSE/MSF Candidate, CEO and Co-Founder of CartilaGen. “The award money will assist us in preparing our FDA IND submission, which has the direct benefit of expediting our clinical trial initiation date. We are very optimistic about the potential impact of our technology and quite keen to begin initial human testing.” 




A privately held, Iowa-based company, CartilaGen is developing an intra-articular injection of a small-molecule drug capable of preventing post-traumatic osteoarthritis. CartilaGen’s solution aims to provide an unprecedented disease-modifying treatment to an area of medicine that has been particularly devoid of any efficacious preventative or curative therapies. For more information, visit or contact

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