Nonsurgical Exogenous crosslink Therapy developed by Equinext is a new approach for treating ligament and tendon injuries. It uses a chemically made device formed following injection of a crosslinking agent into the lesion of the ligament or tendon where it interacts with native proteins causing the tissue to strengthen and stabilize.
The usual treatment for ligament and tendon injuries is to reduce inflammation and maintain blood flow while allowing the animal to rest. Inflammation is controlled by icing the affected area and by using both systemic and topical anti-inflammatory drugs while blood circulation is promoted by gentle exercise such as walking.
Newer treatment modalities have also been developed with variable success, and not all are commonly used. These include:
- Surgery (including tendon splitting and superior check ligament desmotomy ).
- Therapeutic ultrasound to promote healing.
- Administration of hyaluronic acid and/or glycosaminoglycans.
- Cell-based treatment approaches (conventional tissue engineering, stem cells, cytokines, gene therapy) categorically require time to induce the necessary biological repairs.
- Bone marrow transplant from the sternum. This may provide growth factors and effector-, possibly even stem cells that promote healing.
- Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) therapy where the protein is harvested from the animal’s own blood and injected into the affected area.
- Temporary inhibition of collagen crosslinking during the tissue remodeling stage using injections of an inhibitor of lysyl oxidase, β-aminoproprionitrile fumarate (BAPTEN).
Recovery with the best treatment, however, is a long process and can take from 12-18 months. Depending on the nature and extent of the injury and the quality of the treatment, the animal may heal completely, but in 20-30% of cases the horse is unable to return to full work or competition.
Equinext maintains that their new way of doing therapy using NEXT will provide a significant improvement compared to current therapeutic outcomes