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"Game-changing" osteoarthritis drug receives £675k funding from Innovate UK

Published on 19/02/19 at 11:18am

A novel and potentially “game-changing” oral therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) has received a £675,000 cash injection from Innovate UK.

The funding will help support the enactment of a clinical of study to evaluate the drug’s safety and efficacy, undertaken by a partnership of AKL Research and Development (AKLRD) and the University of Liverpool’s Clinical Trials Unit.

APPA, as the therapy is known, consists of two synergistic phytochemicals and has demonstrated “significant” pain relief properties, slowed cartilage destruction, and improved functionality in preclinical animal trials.

The treatment is currently at Phase 1 in development, but the new grant will help push the drug into Phase 2 later this year, the partnership said.

“For APPA to be recognised as a disruptive innovation is incredibly exciting,” remarked David Miles, Chief Executive Officer of AKLRD. “The award from Innovate UK will allow us to secure the future development of what we believe could be an important medicine for OA patients who currently have limited treatment options. We believe APPA not only tackles pain but will also put the brakes on the inflammatory cascade that we know is responsible for the devastating consequences of OA.”

Professor Moots, of the UoL’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease and leader of the APPA trial, commented: “Millions of osteoarthritis patients are suffering every day with severe pain because the current prescription drugs available are often not effective or cannot be used long-term. APPA has the potential to be an effective treatment for OA that could not only tackle the pain it causes but do so with excellent tolerability and also, we hope, stop the disease from causing further joint damage. It’s incredibly exciting that Innovate UK has clearly recognised the potential of this new drug which could transform the lives of OA patients.”

Matt Fellows

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