Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic degenerative joint disease and one of the major causes of disability in adults, affecting approximately 10% of adult population. OA can affect isolated or multiple joints, but always affects all joint tissues: cartilage, synovium and bone. Multiple mechanisms involving the interplay between those tissues contribute to the disease progression. Unfortunately, current pharmacological treatments are only symptomatic and don’t stop or cure the disease.
The ideal Disease-Modifying OA Drug presumably should combine three basic pharmacological effects: relief of pain, reduction of synovial inflammation, and protection against, and repair of, cartilage damage. None of the existing pharmacological therapies for OA combines these effects.
IL4-10 fusion protein, recently developed by University Medical Center Utrecht, showed promising disease modifying activity in preclinical OA models in vitro andin vivo. Based on those results Synerkine Pharma continues to develop SK-001 (IL4-IL10 fusion protein) as an intra-articular injection to stimulate cartilage regeneration, reduce synovial inflammation and pain in OA patients.
Acute pain is typically induced by a noxious stimulus or tissue damage and disappears when the stimulus is removed, or the tissue is healed. In certain conditions, pain persists for months or years despite the initial stimulus or tissue damage being removed or healed. Generally, if pain persists more than 3 months, it is considered chronic pain. Common types of chronic pain include musculo-skeletal pain (e.g. lower back pain), neuropathic pain (e.g. diabetic pain, post-herpetic neuralgia), osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Chronic pain has been estimated to affect a large percentage of the population and has a significant impact on social and working life. It is one of the most frequent reasons for seeking medical care, however, pain management including pharmaceutical intervention is often inadequate. Moreover, existing pain medication can come with serious side effects and in particular the opioid class of drugs has been associated with a high prevalence of abuse. Given the high socioeconomic burden and the lack of an adequate treatment, chronic pain is still a highly unmet medical need. Synerkine Pharma is developing a new class of molecules based on fusion proteins of cytokines for the application in difficult-to-treat chronic neuropathic pain without the risk of causing addiction.