This drug holds promise for arthritis treatment

London: Researchers have identified a drug that can significantly reduce bone and cartilage progression in osteoarthritis.

In a study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers found that “MIV-711” — a novel selective cathepsin K inhibitor — can reduce disease progression in osteoarthritis.

However, the drug was not more effective than placebo for reducing pain related to knee osteoarthritis.

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Osteoarthritis of the knee is a painful, disabling condition affecting more than 14 million people in the US and hundreds of millions worldwide.

The pain of knee osteoarthritis arises from a series of pathologic processes involving articular cartilage, subchondral bone, synovium, meniscus, and other joint structures, ultimately leading to joint failure and pain-related functional limitations.

A team of researchers led by the University of Leeds in UK, sought to test the hypothesis that cathepsin K inhibitor could alleviate osteoarthritis symptoms by reducing degeneration of bone and cartilage.

In a multi-centre study, 244 patients with primary knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to receive either 100 or 200 mg daily of MIV-711 or matched placebo for 26 weeks to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of MIV-711.

The primary endpoint of the study was change in pain score, but changes in disease progression were also assessed using quantitative MRI outcomes.

The researchers found that compared with placebo, MIV-711 was associated with less bone remodelling, less cartilage volume loss, and lower levels of bone resorption and collagen loss.

However, it showed no beneficial effects on osteoarthritic knee pain.

According to the researchers, further evaluation is needed to confirm the structural benefits of MIV-711 and to determine whether these translate to more tangible benefits on disease symptoms.

The researchers said that while the work is promising, they agree that more research is needed to determine the longer term benefits of MIV-711.

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