I am honored to release this interview with Bobby Ardila, V.P. of International Medical Communications for Neo Matrix, LLC. Neo Matrix is a newly formed cell therapy company serving the U.S.A. and South American markets. In this interview, we explore the company’s use of a placental tissue matrix component for regenerative medicine applications.
Interview with Bobby Ardila, V.P. International Communications of Neo Matrix, LLC
Cade Hildreth: What is your background and how did you get involved with Neo Matrix?
BOBBY ARDILA: I received my initial introduction to medicine in the military with the U.S. Navy after which I did my formal, academic medical training in Pittsburgh, and followed with a Fellowship in Oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and additional Fellowship in Integrative Medicine through the University of Arizona School of Medicine. I have an extensive background with minimally invasive surgery and advanced procedures, including the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
I currently practice Regenerative/Integrative and Functional Medicine, as well as my fellow colleagues at Neo-Matrix with a focus on Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy applications.
Cade Hildreth: What was your vision in partnering with Neo Matrix?
BOBBY ARDILA: The initial vision was conceived by President/CEO Dr. Mike Van Thielen, with the desire to establish a team of “like minds” in the evolving market of stem cell therapy, with the emphasis on the therapeutic application of stem cells.
This includes the implementation of protocols employing direct visualization through musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound. This MSK Ultrasound (US) demonstrates a more optimal patient outcome with quicker return to activities of daily living at a higher level of functionality compared to some of the current, contemporary and more invasive forms of treatment.
Cade Hildreth: What types of stem cells will Neo Matrix be utilizing in its stem cell therapies?
BOBBY ARDILA: Neo Matrix is using a placental tissue matrix (PTM) component, which through its specialized procurement and processing, maximally preserves beneficial biologically active growth factors that assist in awakening and reviving the body’s own dormant stem cells.
In addition, more than a 100 million amniotic epithelial cells (AEC’s) are harvested with each live birth, providing ample healthy pluripotent cells for therapeutic application. Placenta tissue matrix contains all necessary components & growth factors for effective, consistent, and comprehensive regeneration of connective tissue, unlike adult stem cells.
The presence of growth factors activate the patient’s own stem cells, biomolecules (building blocks for repair and regeneration) and an elaborate collagen scaffold network which is the structural blue-print or engineering plan within the placenta tissue matrix. The physiologic result promotes an attraction and affinity between the placental matrix product and site of injury, thereby optimizing timeline of engraftment and tissue growth.
Cade Hildreth: What services will Neo Matrix offer and to what region(s) of the world?
BOBBY ARDILA: In addition to assisting and training healthcare professionals in the United States, there has been an increased interest in South America, primarily Colombia and Brazil. We just concluded several formal business presentations in Colombia outlining some of our procedures involving joint-soft tissue injury, including but not limited to shoulder (rotator cuff injury) and knee injuries (meniscus and collateral ligament as well as ACL injury), chronic connective tissue injuries including tendinopathies, carpal/tarsal syndromes, Osteoarthritis, etc.
A new relatively unexplored area for complementary treatment with PTM is in the area of cosmetic procedures. The utilization of PTM for the face and neck has unrealized potential as a non-invasive alternative to cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and laser treatments. Other cosmetic applications include penis enhancement, breast augmentation and hair restoration. A heightened interest in this Plastic/Aesthetics specialty has been observed in the United States, as well as within Latin America.
Cade Hildreth: From where have you licensed this technology?
BOBBY ARDILA: We, at Neo Matrix, have established a contractual distributorship with the FDA approved manufacturer to therapeutically use and distribute their product within the U.S. and Colombia.
The products themselves are also FDA-approved for the treatment of connective tissue disorders within the U.S. and we are currently seeking further secondary approval in Colombia and Brazil.
Cade Hildreth: When do you expect to start offering services?
BOBBY ARDILA: We currently offer services locally and we are encouraging healthcare professionals around the country to become medical affiliates and offer these services to their patients as well. In addition, we offer mobile services in Florida and professional, medical training throughout the country.
Cade Hildreth: How did you form the Neo Matrix team and who composes it?
BOBBY ARDILA: The initial vision came from Neo Matrix President, Dr. Mike Van Thielen.
The team is comprised of experienced medical doctors, and clinical associates with advanced, formal training in Regenerative and Functional Medicine and an identical vision on how the medicine of the future should be practiced. Our team also consists of financial and legal counsel, and experienced business management personnel.
Cade Hildreth: What makes the therapeutic application at Neo Matrix different?
BOBBY ARDILA: The answer is two-fold. First, we use the absolute best source of stem cells to provide the most effective and consistent results for our patients. Second, we use MSK (musculoskeletal) ultrasound for precise product placement and objective evaluation of therapeutic application for optimal results.
Human embryonic stem cells (HESC’s) are very potent when it comes to differentiating into various cell types, but there’s a moral and ethical dilemma surrounding the sourcing of these embryonic stem cells, which has resulted in a limited supply. Even more importantly, HESC’s have been shown to be tumorigenic when applied to mice.
Today, most providers use adult stem cells harvested from the patient’s adipose tissue or bone marrow. Although non-immunogenic, the procedures are non-standardized, non-uniformed and lack quality control. Often, not enough healthy stem cells are harvested and results are inconsistent. The patient also has to undergo surgery, increasing liability, associated risks, and higher price point variability.
Placenta tissue matrix (PTM) simply contains all essential components for the effective and consistent remodeling and regeneration of connective tissue, including stem cells, growth factors, biomolecules and collagen scaffold network. No surgery is required and there’s minimal downtime after the ultrasound guided injection into the target area.
There are no known adverse reactions and we have seen complete resolution of many musculoskeletal conditions within 3 months post-injection, as indicated by objective evaluation of post-procedure ultrasound imaging and before and after trend comparison.
Cade Hildreth: What are your 5-10 year goals for Neo Matrix?
BOBBY ARDILA: Part of our 5 year goal would include being recognized as a pioneering company, with our therapeutic approach of utilizing placental tissue matrix component bridging the gap between research and science to result in an approved and accepted stem cell therapy/clinical application.
Our extended 5-10 year goal is to integrate and standardize a therapeutic procedural protocol not only in the United States, but also within South America and beyond.
We also seek to demonstrate that placental tissue matrix delivers maximal efficacy with minimal invasiveness, providing a huge cost savings to patient/consumer and a reduction in the medical cost burden for any industrialized nation.
*NOTE: In 2011, the annual U.S. cost for treatment and lost wages related to musculoskeletal disorders was $213 billion, or 1.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Cade Hildreth: Is Neo Matrix interested in any types of partnerships, collaborations, or investment?
BOBBY ARDILA: We have secured initial investments and spoke with various corporate entities that have shared interest in our company.
We would entertain a partnership or collaboration, if there was a parallel vision, business strategy, and goals that were in-line with Neo Matrix Medical.
Cade Hildreth: In your opinion, how will stem cell therapies impact the future of medicine?
BOBBY ARDILA: We at Neo Matrix believe that our approach of using placental tissue matrix will have a big impact not only on chronic degenerative diseases, like osteoarthritis, but also on earlier acute stages of connective tissue conditions, where it can prevent disease progression and drastically minimize invasive, unwarranted, and costly surgical procedures.
Thus, approach has the potential to extend longevity and maximize the quality of life of each recipient receiving treatment.
Cade Hildreth: How can people get in touch with you to learn more about Neo Matrix?
BOBBY ARDILA: To get in touch with us, please visit our website at neomatrixmedical.com or contact us at 1-855-MATRIX5.
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