Dr Suzanne Eldridge | Queen Mary University of London; Professor Francesco Dell’Accio
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2023
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, characterised by cartilage loss, for which there is no cure. It causes joint pain, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide costing ~ 1.5-2% of the GDP. The cost to society for loss of working days was £2.58billion in 2017 (Versus Arthritis data).
Analgesics reduce joint pain unsatisfactorily and physiotherapy can, at best, marginally delay the need for joint replacement. Joint replacement restores some degree of independence but not full function to the standards of an active lifestyle of an increasingly younger patient population. In 20% of the cases does not live up to patients’ expectations.
A number of drugs have been developed in recent years (Sprifermin, Loricivivint, LNA043) but have failed in clinical trials for either not providing pain relief or not restoring the cartilage properly, or both. Traumatic cartilage injuries lead to osteoarthritis later in life 60% of the time, but we do not understand why some patients progress and other don’t.
As part of a larger study we will be following these trauma patients up by MRI scans and muscle function tests. This project would enable the
development of an App to obtain additional information about these patients during their recovery, or lack of.
This resource would be invaluable to the scientific community, clinicians and the pharmaceutic industry to provide better healthcare early on and enable healthy ageing.