Published 6/1/2020

AAOS’ Biologics Initiative Gains Momentum

The DBT Committee focuses on collaboration to grow the Biologics Alliance

AAOS’ strategic investment in orthobiologics is well underway, overseen by the Committee on Devices, Biologics, and Technology (DBT) and the Council of Research and Quality, with goals to lay a strong, sustainable foundation in 2020, focusing resources toward creating unbiased, evidence-based content, while providing helpful and meaningful position statements, educational programs, regulatory resources, and symposia.

To date, AAOS’ efforts to execute its strategic goals regarding orthobiologics have included a staff leadership symposium aimed at exploring collaborative opportunities in orthobiologics content generation across various clinical specialties, a scan of the current orthobiologics environment to identify various baseline data points on which to guide future programming, and meetings with industry and surgeon leaders to discuss areas of overlap where combined efforts may be more prudent than individualized or siloed ones.

During the short tenure of the DBT Committee, the group has already discussed at length the importance of taking an evidence-based and systematic approach to evaluating the effectiveness of emerging treatment modalities. A systematic approach is necessary for any objective evaluation, but perhaps especially so with orthobiologics, and laying that groundwork for clinicians is central to the aims of the committee. The committee is currently finalizing its methodology for generation of evidence-based reviews of the best available evidence for various orthobiologics, after which the development of systematic literature reviews called “technology overviews” will begin, with the first reviews planned for release later this year. The technology overviews will be designed to summarize the current state of the evidence surrounding biologic interventions for specific uses, equipping members to make informed decisions regarding treatment options and allowing for meaningful patient-informed decision-making.

The committee has also discussed the importance of building relationships with other medical specialty societies, with the shared sentiment that a unified voice can speak louder than the sum of its parts, especially when it comes to education, messaging, and advocacy. This approach was launched among more than a dozen musculoskeletal and nonmusculoskeletal societies in February, during which staff leadership of participating organizations gathered to discuss areas of possible collaboration, along with next steps and best practices toward combining resources and clinician leaders to develop and disseminate content for clinicians and patients. The committee plans to explore opportunities for unified collaboration between relevant specialty organizations under the Biologics Alliance moniker.

Along with continued staff leadership summits, the DBT Committee intends to equip members with digestible educational resources, including various symposia and summits with clinician leaders to ensure the inclusion of multiple perspectives and experts in AAOS’ orthobiologics programming. Other educational resources under development by the committee include articles published in AAOS Now, interactive online resources, and a virtual biologics symposium.

For more information on AAOS’ biologics programming, visit www.aaos.org/biologics. To ask questions about the committee or to express your interest in learning more about and/or participating in AAOS’ efforts in this area of study, email biologics@aaos.org.