How effective will be the new drug in Osteoarthritis?

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How effective will be the new drug in Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a globally affecting disease which is the leading cause of joint pain and stiffness, especially in older people. The researchers are trying to find out better treatment for this chronic condition.

A clinical trial is in process on a promising drug for the treatment of OA, which had been developed by the collaboration of The Liverpool University and AKL Research and Development Ltd.  

AKL discovered promising phytochemicals, found in natural products, which can be synthesized.
Two molecules had been discovered which work synergistically in combination and together create ‘APPA’ (Apocynin (AP) and paeonol (PA)) that significantly improves OA symptoms.

APPA has gone through various pre-clinical animal testing and successfully passed different toxicology studies. It has clearly expressed improved functionality and the slowing of cartilage destruction, providing extraordinary relief from pain in OA. Now the studies can be conducted on human subjects, which will commence at the Liverpool Clinical Trials Unit (LCTU), led by rheumatologist Professor Robert Moots from the University's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease.

According to Professor Moots, the often used prescription drugs to manage severe pain in OA, generally are not effective and even in many cases, leads to unacceptable side effects. In many cases, major joint replacement surgery is required to combat the pain, which in some way is wrong.
Professor Steven Edwards at the University's Institute of Integrative Biology is researching on how APPA affects human cells, especially activated neutrophils.
"Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells and form an essential part of our immune system. There is now considerable evidence to show that neutrophils are activated in inflammatory diseases. They are however a 'two-edged sword,' they are required to protect us from infections, but their inappropriate activation can result in irreversible damage in inflammatory diseases”, he added.

The 'holy grail' of anti-inflammatory targeting of neutrophils is precisely to block their tissue-damaging activities, but not compromise their ability to protect. Work is ongoing; however, to date, it appears that APPA does not target the host defense properties of neutrophils, but does block their pro-inflammatory activities.
There remains a high unmet need for an effective, well-tolerated OA drug, so there is much excitement about APPA’s prospects.


American College of Rheumatology

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Original title of article:

Clinical trial for new innovative osteoarthritis drug


Professor Robert Moots, Professor Steven Edwards

Therapeutic, APPA, Osteoarthritis (OA), Joints, Chronic, Clinical Trial, Efficacy, Tolerability
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