PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Medical researchers will report
findings today (Oct. 19) that demonstrate that injecting the protein lubricin
into knee joints can dramatically reduce cartilage degeneration.
The discovery by scientists at Biomodels, a preclinical drug research
organization, and Lubris, a Massachusetts-based startup company, could result
in a new therapy for individuals at risk for osteoarthritis, researchers said.
The study, by Gregory D. Jay, MD, PhD, a Professor of Emergency Medicine and
Biomedical Engineering at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, will be
presented Monday morning at the American College of Rheumatology/Association
of Rheumatology Health Professionals Conference.
In the study performed at Biomodels, the transection of the ACL (anterior
cruciate ligament) in untreated rats resulted in progressive degeneration of
the knee joints and the articular cartilage. In rats treated with recombinant
human lubricin, however, the degeneration was far less pronounced, indicating
that treatment with lubricin can slow the development of osteoarthritis
following traumatic joint injury, and possibly reverse the process, according
to Dr. Jay.
Dr. Jay said the study shows that recombinant human lubricin, given as direct
injections, “significantly reduced the extent of cartilage degeneration in the
knees of rats with post-traumatic osteoarthritis.”