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Evaluation of new therapies and devices

Researchers are developing novel therapies to improve Osteoarthritis treatment.

Overview:

The most common form of arthritis in women over 55 is Osteroarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis with 12% of women aged over 55 consulting their GP each year. Rates of total knee replacement, mostly done for knee OA have increased three fold in the UK in recent years.

Issue:

Even though OA accounts for more disability than any other disease, to date there are currently no effective treatments for OA and a proportion of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not respond to existing therapies. Our aim is to develop and evaluate new treatments for OA and RA.

What we aim to achieve:

We aim to develop a human experimental model for knee OA treatment and use it to test several novel therapies in order to improve OA treatment. If successful the findings will be relevant to OA in other joints.

We hypothesize that changes in the amount of cartilage detected by morphometry and joint space loss visible on x-ray, occur exceedingly slowly in OA, whereas the structure of other joint structures, may change much more rapidly and could therefore be used to develop improved strategies for rapid and accurate evaluation new therapies and devices. To test this we will study changes in bone marrow lesion volume and synovitis using MRI in the context of a range of devices.

Building on our earlier studies of inflammation mechanisms, with support from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), we have developed exciting new data linking the core biological clock to the innate immune response. We will profile the effects of the biological clock time on expression of candidate drug targets in RA. We will also look to identify any effect of RA itself on clock-determined target gene expression.

Effective alternatives to biologic therapies could result in significant financial savings to the costs of treatment of RA.

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