New drug sprifermin may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis
A protein called sprifermin may be an effective disease-modifying treatment of osteoarthritis, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology.
The new drug is the first investigational agent to prevent cartilage loss in both the lateral and medial parts of the knee.
Researchers split 549 people (aged 40 to 85 years) with knee osteoarthritis into groups. Half were given three weekly injections of sprifermin every six or 12 months and the others were given placebo injections. Over 12% of the sprifermin group and 19% of the placebo group discontinued treatment within two years.
Sprifermin was found to prevent cartilage loss and increase cartilage thickness.
“Sprifermin appears to be the first investigational medicinal product to show not only dose-dependent prevention of cartilage loss, but also an increase in cartilage thickness…” says Prof Hochberg, who led the research. “These structural benefits associated with sprifermin suggest that it may be efficacious as a structure-modifying osteoarthritis drug, and present an acceptable benefit-to-risk balance in this indication.”
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