This Innovative Osteoarthritis Drug Shows Promise

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in America, and likely on the rise.

If you’re living with this degenerative condition, you’ll be excited to learn about the news coming from the UK.

The University of Liverpool recently partnered with AKL Research and Development Ltd to conduct a clinical study on an extremely promising new drug treatment for osteoarthritis (OA).

The drug, called “APPA” is comprised of two molecules that act synergistically when brought together. The molecules are phytochemicals found in natural products, and their combination could have a huge impact on OA symptoms.

New OA drug being synthesized from natural products in UK

Changing the Functionality Game

APPA impressed researchers during pre-clinical testing trials, during which it proved its ability to:

  • Significantly reduce pain inflicted by OA
  • Improve functionality
  • Slow cartilage destruction

Since it passed preclinical toxicology studies with flying colors, it’s ready for human trials and making waves of anticipation.

The trial will commence very soon, led by rheumatologist Professor Robert Moots from the University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease. It will take place at the Liverpool Clinical Trials Unit (LCTU).

A Holy Grail Treatment for Osteoarthritis?

What makes this potential new drug a potential holy grail treatment? It addresses the core of the problem rather than numbing the symptoms.

“The severe pain from OA is usually managed with prescription drugs that are often not effective and that also, in many cases, induce unacceptable side effects. In many cases, major joint replacement surgery is needed to help deal with the pain. This is surely wrong,” said Professor Moots.

“This drug has huge potential to provide an effective treatment for OA. A reliable and easy way to treat OA has clear potential to save large amounts of money for the NHS and greatly improve the lifestyle and health of patients.

“Working with research and development companies like AKL is crucial for the development and introduction of new treatments to benefit patients now and in future generations. We are excited to move this programme of trials forward.”


Moots isn’t the only medical professional with extremely high hopes for APPA. Professor Steven Edwards at the University’s Institute of Integrative Biology, who is leading research on how this breakthrough medication affects human cells–especially activated neutrophils–breaks down why this treatment could be so revolutionary.

“Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells and form an essential part of our immune system. There is now considerable evidence to show that neutrophils are activated in inflammatory diseases. They are however a “two-edged sword”: they are required to protect us from infections but their inappropriate activation can result in irreversible damage in inflammatory diseases.

“The ‘holy grail’ of anti-inflammatory targeting of neutrophils is specifically to block their tissue-damaging activities, but not compromise their ability to protect us. Work is ongoing but to date it appears that APPA does not target the host defence properties of neutrophils but does block their pro-inflammatory activities,” said Edwards.


If this potential “holy grail” treatment is approved, it could make a world of difference for OA patients everywhere. David Sharples, the CEO of AKL Research and Development, is hopeful that the drug will pass the test.

He said, “Professor Moots is leading this important clinical trial and that, in conjunction with Professor Edwards’ research on APPA’s novel modes of action, should provide the robust evidence we need to help bring this drug to market. There remains a high unmet need for an effective, well tolerated OA drug, so understandably we are very excited by APPA’s prospects.”


This robust evidence will hopefully soon be provided by this exciting research, and APPA can begin to change lives. If you’re interested in getting involved, we are currently enrolling these osteoarthritis clinical trials in Birmingham.

Quotes sourced from the University of Liverpool’s article that can be seen here.



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