Science Beyond Frontiers (SBF) Healthcare, a well-known provider of Rotational Field Quantum Magnetic Resonance (RFQMR) therapy to treat osteoarthritis and cancer patients is now looking to raise funds to the tune of $5 million for expansion of operations.

The company, which commenced operations in 2006 is now looking at raising $5 million from investors. The funding will be used to expand its operations to Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata. Right now it has facilities only at Bangalore and Mumbai.

The RFQMR procedure involves the use of a computer-controlled device called 'Cytotron'. The apparatus directs the RFQMR beams on the affected joint. The beams modify the cell to activate and regenerate.

This results in the stimulation of cartilage growth in case of osteoarthritis. The regeneration of tissues increases the mobility and improves the movement of joints of the affected patient. The treatment is painless, safe and scientifically proven through successful clinical trials involving more than 500 cases.

All the patients who underwent the clinical study had severe pain of long duration and extreme limitation in the joint movements. The only alternate suggestion was surgery. But after the administration of RFQMR the results of all patients showed positive results and they stopped taking painkillers by the fourth exposure. By the end of treatment most patients could walk up to 5 kilometres without pain and 16 could squat which they could not do earlier. The patients did not require knee replacement surgery any more.

According to Wg Cmdr VG Vashishta, founder and chief executive officer, SBF Healthcare, the RFQMR therapy has benefited scores of patients. The RFQMR is a co- developed technology which involved Dr R Vijay Kumar, chief scientific officer, CARD, Bangalore along with Wg Cmdr Vashishta at the Indian Aerospace Medicine. Currently, the centre in Bangalore treats a minimum of 25 patients a month which includes cases from abroad too.

Dr Vasishta stated that the procedure includes an hour of exposure to RF beams everyday for three weeks. The cost involved is a fourth of knee replacement surgery and varies from Rs 45,000 to 70,000 per knee depending on the severity of the case. There are no side effects and it involves natural growth of cartilage without medication or any insertions.

With 20 per cent of the country's population of over one billion in the age group of 44 years, SBF estimates that there will be at least 30 percent which will need medical attention for degenerative joint conditions.

The test of the recovery with the RFQMR therapy is proved with the MRI scans which have shown recovery of the cartilage by at least 1.1 mm after a three week therapy itself.

Although, the RFQMR is the first time in the world therapy designed to treat cartilage degeneration, in India the medical devices have not been approved by the Indian regulatory authorities