Molecular Pathogenesis of OA
By identifying what causes osteoarthritis at all levels - in our case, the cell - we are able to contribute to the development of novel drugs to target the condition.
Our programme of work has largely been developed at the Kennedy Institute over the past 10 years and more recently become incorporated into the Centre.
Much of it relates to pathways that are activated upon mechanical injury to cartilage, and basic laboratory based experiments have been really successful in identifying pathways that are relevant to disease. We are now at the stage of testing whether targeting these pathways is an effective strategy for preventing, arresting or reversing disease. Whilst we don't yet have drugs that will do this, the laboratory experiments to date predict that this will be a successful approach.
Our targeted approach has huge potential for the creation of novel drugs in OA. It is also the case that molecules identified through these studies may represent markers of disease.
Such markers are highly valuable for selecting individuals for clinical trials, monitoring success of novel treatments and predicting the development of OA in at risk groups.