Drs. Bert Mandelbaum, Jason Dragoo on the future of The Biologics Alliance

Eric Oliver -  

While biologic-based treatments have loads of promise when it comes to orthopedics, illegal actors are tarnishing the space and promoting false narratives that hurt scientific advances. 

To address these narratives and correct the record, four professional societies formed The Biologics Alliance. Here, Bert Mandelbaum, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., and Jason Dragoo, MD, director of UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver, elaborated on the Alliance's mission and addressed the future of biologics-based treatments. 

Note: Responses have been edited for style and content. 

Question: Why was the Biologics Alliance created?

Drs. Bert Mandelbaum and Jason Dragoo: The Biologics Alliance was created as a core focus to bridge the gaps in knowledge, publication, communication between the organizations, and be a single voice to science, the consumer and our patients.

Q: How will the Alliance dispel the rumors and bad press around biologics?

BM and JD: The first objective is to become a trusted, unbiased and credible source for evidence-based translational science that leads to best-practice solutions.

To accomplish this objective, we [will] rely on our organizational mission: to assess and process non-conflicted orthobiologics data and report unbiased patient safety and efficacy outcomes, white papers, consensus documents, and clinical and scientific guidelines.

This mission will manifest [itself in] a unified global and multidisciplinary voice in the musculoskeletal biologics environment, advocating for the responsible use of biologics in clinical practice, spearheading standards development, and assessing and reporting on the safety and efficacy of biologic interventions.

Our vision is to be the single voice for regenerative orthobiologics for science and clinical medicine, the consumer, and our patients.

In this unifying multidisciplinary and global theme, The Biologics Alliance — through partnering with a spectrum of societies and organizations worldwide — will bridge gaps between hope, science and knowledge evolution while fostering publication, education and communication. At the same time, we want to make sure that the gap between hope and knowledge is not exploited.

Q: Three years from now, will biologics-based treatments be a part of mainstay medicine? Why?

BM and JD: Orthobiologics will be part of all orthopedic and musculoskeletal practice in three years [we believe]. Orthobiologics are essential adjuncts to harmonize mechanics and biology to achieve optimal healing and return the patient to activity or sport.

  • Areas that orthobiologics will be a mainstay, especially in [sports] medicine include:

  • Cartilage and bone repair and reconstruction

  • Osteoarthritis modulation and facilitation

  • Muscle and tendon healing facilitation

  • Ligament repair or reconstruction augmentation

Q: What does every physician who is considering incorporating biologics need to know about the treatments before they look into them?

BM and JD: As this is a dynamic and evolving field, it is essential for the physician considering the use of orthobiologics [to] understand the complexities of new concepts, technology and techniques. This also includes the spectrum of pathologic conditions, the natural course and potential specific therapeutic interventions.

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