Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic disease of the joints, with no effective therapeutic treatments. It is considered a heterogeneous group of degenerative joint diseases associated with aging or mechanical stress, as seen in obesity. Since joint destruction outpaces repair of cartilage and joint tissues in OA, therapeutic strategies to block matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) degradation of collagen are attractive. However, the highly conserved structure of the MMP catalytic domain has made it difficult to maintain target specificity, and many compounds display a promiscuous inhibitor profile, with efficacy against multiple MMP family members.
Dartmouth scientists have now demonstrated that rexinoid drugs, such as bexarotene, LG268 and phytanic acid, can inhibit the degradation of collagen in synovial tissue by inhibiting the synthesis of MMPs thereby lessening joint destruction. This new pharmacological activity, either alone or in combination with other standard treatment, may provide an alternative treatment option for osteoarthritis.
These findings are claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner to further refine and market this technology. (Ref: J574)
Last Updated: 7/24/12