Injury Innovation

Redondo-based HRT works with local physicians to treat athletes and other active patients through tissue regeneration.

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  • Written by
    Darren Elms

A scientific breakthrough now offers physicians a new way to treat a wide range of complications, from a baseball pitcher’s throwing arm to a football running back’s Achilles tendon tear mid-season, a lacrosse player’s torn hamstring or a Las Vegas show dancer’s repetitive-motion knee injuries.

The fix? Regeneration through amniotic tissue. And the source of that tissue? A harvested placenta. It might seem straight out of Total Recall, but one of the leading developers of this innovative tissue biologic solution is located right here in the South Bay.

Human Regenerative Technologies, LLC, or HRT, ambitiously harnesses this regenerative power of placental tissue to help treat common ailments, including osteoarthritis of the knees and hands, rheumatoid arthritis, tennis elbow, shoulder and knee tears and inflammation, cartilage defects, hips, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis and diabetic wounds. According to HRT’s CEO, Chris Sharp, their in-office product PX50 allows patients to receive treatment for various injuries and potentially avoid the need for surgery. 

“Our understanding of these beneficial components of placental tissues, as well as our in-depth understanding of physician requirements in treating a range of conditions, has allowed us to perfect not only the various product forms that we provide but also to improve the delivery methods and techniques for physicians,” he says.

Manhattan and Torrance-based Beach Cities Orthopedics was one of the first to locally offer this innovative regenerative biologic solution for active individuals. Sharp believes HRT’s corporate culture fits well with the Southern California values and lifestyle anchored here the South Bay area. 

“The South Bay provides ideal access for HRT’s shipping and logistics needs and close proximity to LAX, one of the nation’s leading airports,” he says. “The South Bay also allows staff members to enjoy the slower-paced, family-oriented lifestyle versus many other major centers.” Sharp himself moved here with his wife in 2005 from Toronto and enjoys raising his three children in Manhattan Beach. 

So far, local patients report success after trying the treatment. Kimmy Kelca of Hermosa Beach experienced severe pain due to degenerated cartilage and excessive fluid in her knee. After having fluid removed from the knee, PX50 was injected directly into the joint. While she says the injection site was sore for about a day, by day five the pain in her knee was gone and she has increased mobility. 

Jeff Belandi, an avid surfer and former volleyball player also from Hermosa, suffered from a cartilage defect in the knee. Although he had surgery to remove the cartilage, he still endured some knee pain. After tissue regeneration therapy, he says the pain went from a 5 to a 0.

So the million-dollar question: Why the placenta? According to the HRT website, this unique organ plays a key role in the development and protection of the fetal tissues during pregnancy. 

“The amniotic membranes act as a protective covering and barrier during the development of the fetal tissues. These tissues and fluids contain the extracellular matrix, a dynamic, viable protein system that includes fibrous collagens for a physical scaffold, as well as growth factors, fibronectin, laminin, hyaluronic acid, and other proteins, cytokines and peptides. Amniotic tissues are shown to provide many beneficial properties in a broad range of clinical applications, as a wound covering or tissue matrix for wounds, defects and voids. They modulate correct tissue repair versus scar tissue formation, control inflammation, reduce patient pain and provide anti-microbial properties.” 

HRT products can be administered both surgically and non-surgically. The company must work with various hospitals and physicians to collect placentas from women who volunteer to donate after their successful C-section delivery. Women may sign up with their physicians or contact HRT’s tissue donation division. 

Sharp says the donation process simply includes a medical history questionnaire that the physician fills out with the donor, and then an additional blood sample is drawn during the routine admission process at the hospital.

For more information on HRT and tissue regeneration, visit