(The Gist of Science Reporter) A Step Closer towards a more Effective Treatment for Osteoarthritis
A Step Closer towards a more Effective Treatment for Osteoarthritis
- Researchers (IISc) have developed a microparticle formulation that allows sustained release of drugs to treat osteoarthritis, at the Indian Institute of Science a chronic joint condition.
- They have designed a polymer matrix made of polylacticco-glycolic acid or PLGA, an FDA-approved biomaterial, to encapsulate rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug. Preliminary studies on cells cultured in the laboratory as well as in mice models have shown promising results indicating reduced inflammation and cartilage repair due to sustained drug release.
- Osteoarthritis is associated with the wear and tear of the cartilage ‒ the smooth tissue that protects bone joints ‒ caused due to stress or ageing. The current treatment plan revolves more around managing pain and inflammation than treating the disease. Although several classes of drugs seemed promising in preclinical trials, low drug retention and rapid clearance from the target site have made clinical translation difficult.
- The formulation developed by the IISc team, however, has a residence time of up to 30 days at the target site, with no evident signs that it may cause discomfort to patients. Such a sustained-release system can improve patient compliance and reduce hospital visits.
- PLGA is widely used for drug delivery applications and several drug formulations are currently used in clinics. Rapamycin is commonly used to suppress the immune response in patients undergoing surgery for organ transplant to prevent organ rejection. Preclinical studies have shown its potential for treating osteoarthritis by preventing cell loss and cartilage damage, thereby reducing inflammation. However, the short drug retention time of ~1-4 hours demands frequent injections to maintain the therapeutic window in the joints.
- Dhanabalan and her colleagues combined the advantages of PLGA and rapamycin to create a system that would allow sustained release of the drug. This was achieved by encapsulating rapamycin in PLGA microparticles.
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Courtesy: Science Reporter