Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating joint disease characterized by breakdown of the articular cartilage and bone changes, including thickening of the bone supporting the cartilage and excessive bone formation at the margins of the joint (osteophytes). There are no disease modifying therapies to treat the cause of osteoarthritis. Current treatment consists of symptom management with non-steroidal-inflammatory drugs and eventually leads to joint replacement. Hence, there is an urgent unmet need for a new therapeutic approach targeting and resolving the aetiology of the disease.
This technology is a method of treatment of osteoarthritis which targets a novel cell-surface receptor named ROR2, that is specifically upregulated in cartilage as a result of local inflammation and mechanical stress. It is typically expressed in minimal level in physiological conditions.
Blockage of this receptor by siRNA, promotes cartilage repair which correlates with sustained pain relief, Fig 1A and 2A
Cartilage repair is achieved by:
siRNA silencing of the target receptor in-vivo reduces cartilage breakdown in the meniscal/ligamentous injury model of osteoarthritis
Target receptor silencing supports formation of human cartilage organoids in vivo.
A composition of matter patent has been filed including both siRNA and peptide approaches against ROR2.
This method is targeting a non-redundant target with limited expression in adult tissues offering the advantage of fewer side effects compared to current anti-inflammatory therapies.