UK researchers are planning new drug treatments after identifying a protein that appears to reduce the damage of a common joint disorder.
EARA member the University of Manchester and its spinout biotechnology company, Link Biologics, studied rats, cells and human cartilage to find better treatments for osteoarthritis (OA) – a disease of the joints that can lead to long-term pain and disability.
The study found that a fragment (Link_TSG-6) of a human protein could help to treat cartilage damage, a major feature of OA. When this fragment was given to rats, it was able to reduce the breakdown of cartilage in the animals, and also appeared to relieve pain.
Professor Tony Day at Manchester and Link Biologics said: “We intend to progress this work by advancing Link_TSG6 towards human clinical trials over the next few years.”