Arthri­tis drug mir­a­cle?

Aussie sci­en­tists dis­cover breakthrough med­i­ca­tion

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - SUE DUN­LEVY

IT’S be­ing billed as the first block­buster drug since an­ti­c­holes­terol pills.

And more than three mil­lion Aus­tralians, in­clud­ing the na­tion’s top sports stars who are crip­pled by pain, are set to ben­e­fit from the new med­i­ca­tion.

Dis­cov­ered by Aus­tralian sci­en­tists, the med­i­ca­tion for os­teoarthri­tis has the po­ten­tial to de­lay or elim­i­nate the need for hip and knee re­place­ments, sav­ing the world’s health sys­tems tens of bil­lions of dol­lars.

There is no ef­fec­tive med­i­ca­tion for os­teoarthri­tis, which is caused by the thin­ning of car­ti­lage in joints which re­sults in bones rub­bing to­gether, cre­at­ing stiff­ness, pain, and dif­fi­culty mov­ing.

It is the lead­ing cause of joint re­place­ments which cost Aus­tralia’s health sys­tem more than $1.2 bil­lion a year.

Aus­tralian sci­en­tist Pro­fes­sor Peter Ghosh and an Aus­tralian com­pany, Par­a­digm Bio­pharma, has dis­cov­ered the drug Pen­tosan Poly­sul­fate Sodium, used for 70 years to treat blood clots and uri­nary tract in­fec­tions in women can re­duce and elim- inate os­teoarthri­tis pain.

As yet there has been no dou­ble blind placebo con­trolled trial of the medicine.

How­ever, a peer re­viewed case study of Aus­tralian arthri­tis pa­tient Kaye O’Lough­lin to be pub­lished in the Jour­nal BMC Mus­cu­loskele­tal Disor­ders within weeks shows her arthri­tis pain went from 8/10 to 0/10 af­ter six in­jec­tions of the treat­ment over three weeks and she no longer needs a knee re­place­ment.

An­other 30 pa­tients have been treated with the drug and 70 per cent have seen sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in arthri­tis pain, an­other 15 per cent got ini­tial re­lief but the trial did not al­low them a sev­enth dose.

If a Phase 2 clin­i­cal trial due to start within months con- firms early re­sults Pen­tosan Poly­sul­fate Sodium has the po­ten­tial to de­lay or elim­i­nate the need for 75,000 hip and knee re­place­ments a year.

There is no ef­fec­tive med­i­ca­tion for os­teoarthri­tis – the sec­ond lead­ing cause of dis­abil­ity and the most com­mon cause of chronic pain in Aus­tralia. Suf­fer­ers rely on anti-in­flam­ma­to­ries and other pain re­lief which have side ef­fects but no medicine can yet halt the pro­gres­sion of the dis­ease.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.