There is no cure for OA, and current treatment options are often costly and inefficient. Hence, there is a pressing need to understand the causes and underlying mechanisms of this degenerative disease to develop new, more effective, and personalised therapies to both alleviate pain and slow down disease progression. Even more so, since the severity of the condition varies significantly from patient to patient. While some only face minor limitations in their well-being and daily life, others are affected by severe pain resulting in the need for continuous care.
Current OA therapy recommendations range from non-drug measures to creams and pills or injections, depending on the severity of OA pain. Surgery can be seen as the “last” treatment option in case all other regimens have failed, or in case the damage to the joint is so severe that no other therapy is possible. However, all of these measures can only slow the progression of degenerative arthritis. Plus, taking medications oftentimes shows only limited success, and at the same time can lead to gastric complications and other potential adverse side effects.
In the face of poor OA treatment response and outcomes, recent treatment strategies have drawn attention to gene therapy. The latter represents a promising therapeutic pathway as it specifically targets disease-causing genes, thus enabling a more individualised and patient-centric treatment approach. One of the strands of gene-based, nanotherapeutic strategies is centred around so-called small interfering RNA (siRNA). Representing a specific nucleic acid modality, siRNA, once introduced directly to a particular tissue of a patient, can silence disease-causing genes. While siRNA-based therapies hold great potential for the treatment of OA, current studies have not yet advanced to the clinical trial stage yet. This is where SINPAIN comes into play.
Learn more about SINPAIN’s approach here.