Askel Healthcare has appointed globally renowned orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists to its new Clinical Advisory Board to drive change in the treatment of knee cartilage repair

Home Askel Healthcare has appointed globally renowned orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists to its new Clinical Advisory Board to drive change in the treatment of knee cartilage repair
Written by Doug Hampton

HELSINKI, May 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Askel Healthcare, a Finnish medical technology company offering a new method for the treatment of knee cartilage defects, has established a Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) representing globally renowned orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists in knee cartilage repair. The newly appointed CAB will have an instrumental advisory role in gathering of high-level clinical evidence of the broad benefits of the COPLA® implant and its successful commercialization.

COPLA® is a biodegradable implant for surgical treatment of cartilage damage in the knee. In the first phase of commercialization, Askel Healthcare is targeting the U.S. cartilage repair market with the COPLA® implant. Supported by the high-level Clinical Advisory Board, the company aims to become the global standard of surgical knee cartilage repair.

The Clinical Advisory Board consists of internationally recognized specialists in the treatment of cartilage damage. The Board is chaired by a Swedish professor, Mats Brittberg (MD), an orthopedic surgeon and an award-winning honorary member of the International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society (ICRS) and one of the world’s most recognized researchers in knee cartilage repair.

Other highly accredited orthopedic and sports medicine experts appointed to Askel Healthcare’s new CAB are Dr. Emmanuel Papakostas (MD), Dr. Teemu Paatela (MD), and Konstantinos Epameinontidis.  

Dr. Emmanuel Papakostas (MD) is a member of the International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society (ICRS) and works as a consultant orthopedic surgeon at Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha, Qatar. Aspetar is a renowned sports medicine hospital recognized as one of the world’s leading facilities for sports medicine, orthopedics, and rehabilitation. Dr. Papakostas also served as head team physician of professional football clubs in his home country and continues as consultant surgeon for several clubs and national associations, having been actively involved in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

Dr. Teemu Paatela (MD) serves as the Chief Ortopaedic Surgeon and the Director of Musculoskeletal Businesses at Terveystalo, Finland’s largest private hospital chain. Dr. Paatela is the Principal Investigator in the on-going COPLA® Pilot clinical trial and he has been part of the academic research group developing COPLA®  from the beginning of the journey since 2010.

Mr. Konstantinos Epameinontidis works together with Dr. Papakostas as a Senior Physiotherapist at the Aspetar Hospital, specializing in rehabilitation of knee injuries. He has published several academic research articles about rehabilitation after knee injury in many orthopedic journals.

“Compared to other cartilage repair methods, COPLA® enables full weight-bearing on the operated leg immediately after surgery. This is presumed to lead to faster recovery to activities as rehabilitation can start sooner. From a biological perspective, it is predicted to create more durable repair tissue. To reach good cartilage tissue repair is an unmet challenge. Tissue regeneration requires cells to produce the new tissue, and in cartilage repair, the cells need a support structure, scaffolding, to enable tissue regrowth to the damaged area. For several decades, various materials have been used for scaffolding, but none of these have provided the winning solution for clinical practice. Askel’s COPLA®  implant has a specific microstructure that is targeted to create a proper environment for cartilage tissue to regrow; it takes into consideration both the slow healing process and the unique mechanical loading requirements of cartilage tissue,” comments Professor Brittberg.

“The Clinical Advisory Board has a central role in advising Askel Healthcare in the clinical research phase and in supporting our progress towards market authorization. We are immensely proud to have attracted some of the world’s best talents to our CAB and grateful for the benefits that their experience and insight will give us in achieving our goals in commercialization of the COPLA® implant,” says Askel Healthcare’s Clinical Operations Director, Ms. Petra Raatikka.

Invitation to Askel’s investor event on 24 May 2023 at 4:00 p.m. EEST

Askel Healthcare has recently started a fundraising campaign to finance its clinical studies. Investors, analysts and media are invited to an investor meeting on 24 May 2023 at 4:00 p.m. EEST where the company management will present the company, its strategy and the ongoing share issue, and answer questions from the audience. The hybrid event will be held in English at VALO Hotel & Work at Mannerheimintie 109, 00280 Helsinki. Participants can also join the event online.

To register for the event, please send an e-mail to [email protected]. After successful registration, a link to the online event will be sent to online participants who have registered in advance for the event. The event materials will be sent to registered participants after the event. For additional information, please contact Askel Healthcare CEO Virpi Muhonen at [email protected].

Additional information:

Askel Healthcare, Clinical Operations Director, Petra Raatikka: Tel. +358 40 3548482
Askel Healthcare, CEO, Virpi Muhonen: Tel. +358 40 489 3840    

About Askel Healthcare

Askel Healthcare is a Finnish medical technology company set to transform surgical knee cartilage treatment and recovery. Our mission is to keep people in motion through our universal COPLA® Cartilage implant, which is a ground-breaking innovation for the repair of knee cartilage defects. For more information visit: and

Background note:          

  • Damage to the cartilage of the knee is very common. Almost one third of the population has cartilage damage in the knee, but not all are symptomatic. The most common causes of cartilage damage are wear-and-tear of the joint surface (due to aging), repeated mechanical stress or sudden traumatic injuries. Sudden injury-related cartilage damage occurs most often in young and physically active people.
  • The ability of articular cartilage to repair itself is almost non-existent. Cartilage damage in the knee causes pain, difficulties moving and disability due to reduced functional capacity. It is well known that untreated cartilage damage leads to early osteoarthritis.
  • In January 2023, Askel Healthcare started a clinical trial of the COPLA® Cartilage implant, which is expected to significantly accelerate the rehabilitation process and support healing of damaged knee cartilage. Since January 2023, the COPLA® Cartilage implant is available for selected research patients as part of the clinical trial. Three Finnish, one Estonian and one Swedish hospital are participating in the trial.
  • The main role of the Clinical Advisory Board is to advise on Askel Healthcare’s clinical research work. The company aims to initiate research in 2024 for the purpose of US and EU marketing authorization and to commercialize COPLA® by 2028.

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SOURCE Askel Healthcare Oy

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