New approach to arthritis treatment could avoid serious side-effects

September 19, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A new approach to arthritis treatment, which avoids unforeseen side-effects by delivering drugs exclusively to affected inflamed joints, has been developed by researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

In a study highlighted in Nature Rheumatology, the team developed antibodies that are specific to damaged arthritic cartilage. When drugs are fused to these antibodies they are delivered specifically to the arthritic joints, whilst avoiding side effects such as an increased risk of infections.

As yet there is no cure for but the condition may be controlled. Treatment currently involves painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroidal tablets or a second group of that can suppress inflammation and possibly improve disease outcome.

These small molecule drugs, called disease modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs (DMARDs) supress inflammation. Newer which are designed to block inflammation signals are beneficial, but they have serious side effects, because they cause systemic immunosuppression.

Lead author Dr Ahuva Nissim explains "We believe that our targeted approach may become one of the new ways to treat arthritis patients.

"Targeting of biologic drugs to the inflamed joint will result in high local concentrations and low systemic concentrations, increasing efficacy while minimising . Additionally, a lower total dose may be effective, thereby reducing the cost of treatment."

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK. It is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, and is characterised by the abnormal immune response of the body against joint tissues normally present in the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes long term inflammation in the synovium – which is found at the bone joints – leading to cartilage and bone erosion and, eventually, pain and deformation.

Explore further: Cartilage actively contributes to arthritis

Related Stories

Cartilage actively contributes to arthritis

September 12, 2014
Melbourne researchers have discovered that cartilage plays an active role in the destruction and remodelling of joints seen in rheumatoid arthritis, rather than being an 'innocent bystander' as previously thought.

Blocking one receptor could halt rheumatoid arthritis

September 10, 2014
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have shown for the first time how the activation of a receptor provokes the inflammation and bone degradation of rheumatoid arthritis—and that activation ...

Curing arthritis in mice

August 6, 2014
With a new therapeutic product, researchers have managed to cure arthritis in mice for the first time. The scientists are now planning to test the efficacy of the drug in humans.

Molecular imaging gets to the root of rheumatoid arthritis

June 9, 2014
Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic pain for almost half of adults by the time they retire, but a new molecular imaging technique can visualize inflammation in the joints, giving doctors a clear read on chronic pain and possible ...

Molecules involved in rheumatoid arthritis angiogenesis identified

May 16, 2014
Two protein molecules that fit together as lock and key seem to promote the abnormal formation of blood vessels in joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago ...

Arthritis patients failing to take expensive medication, according to new research

August 28, 2014
Large numbers of people with severe rheumatoid arthritis are failing to take expensive medication as prescribed, according to a new multi-centre study led by researchers in Manchester.

Recommended for you

Fluid in the knee holds clues for why osteoarthritis is more common in females

June 26, 2017
Researchers have more evidence that males and females are different, this time in the fluid that helps protect the cartilage in their knee joints.

Biologics before triple therapy not cost effective for rheumatoid arthritis

May 29, 2017
Stepping up to biologic therapy when methotrexate monotherapy fails offers minimal incremental benefit over using a combination of drugs known as triple therapy, yet incurs large costs for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ...

Drug for refractory psoriatic arthritis shows promise in clinical trial

May 24, 2017
In a pivotal phase-3 clinical trial led by a Stanford University School of Medicine investigator, patients with psoriatic arthritis for whom standard-of-care pharmaceutical treatments have provided no lasting relief experienced ...

Cross-species links identified for osteoarthritis

May 17, 2017
New research from the University of Liverpool, published today in the journal npj Systems Biology and Applications, has identified 'cell messages' that could help identify the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis could be prevented with good diet and exercise

May 12, 2017
Osteoarthritis can potentially be prevented with a good diet and regular exercise, a new expert review published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology reports.

Rodents with trouble walking reveal potential treatment approach for most common joint disease

May 11, 2017
Maintaining the supply of a molecule that helps to nourish cartilage prevented osteoarthritis in animal models of the disease, according to a report published in Nature Communications online May 11.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.