PALO ALTO, Calif., April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This week Cellular Biomedicine Group (OTCQB: CBMG) held a ceremony to mark the launch of their clinical trial for haMPC (Human Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells) therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA). The trial, already in progress, is being conducted by Shanghai's Renji Hospital, which is a tertiary level Class A hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. The Phase I open label clinical research trial, registered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) under number NCT01809769 (click here to view), will test the safety and efficacy of intra-articular injections of autologous (patient's own) haMPC in order to reduce inflammation and regenerate damaged joint tissues. Cheng Xiang (Chase) Dai, MD, PhD, Vice President and GM of CBMG's Autologous Products Business Unit, commented, "We are pleased to have a highly respected university hospital such as Renji Hospital conduct these trials, and are very optimistic about the potential to soon be able to provide a safe and effective therapy that could bring relief to millions of KOA patients across China." Knee Osteoarthritis in ChinaCurrently, patients suffering from osteoarthritis in China number approximately 40 million people. Of these, approximately 70% suffer from knee osteoarthritis (KOA). As drug-based methods of management are ineffective, some 1.5 million patients with this disability will degenerate to the point of requiring artificial joint replacement surgery every year. The clinical trial studies the effects of CBMG's proprietary therapy that consists of a small amount of adipose tissue obtained via liposuction from the patient. The adipose is processed for immediate injection into the knee area, with the remaining tissue to be further processed to purify, expand and bank haMPCs for additional injections 1 and 3 months later.