MicroRNA Treatment for Traumatic Osteoarthritis

Virginia Commonwealth University Background
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating degeneration of articulating joints in humans. The disease is driven by mechanical instability from traumatic injury or overuse and inflammatory signaling from the cells in local tissue environment. OA is characterized by cartilage degradation as a result of chondrocyte apoptosis, and osteophyte or bone spur formation because of increased mechanical stimuli to the bone underlying the articulating joint. This phenotypic change results in overt joint pain and immobility reducing the quality of life for over 300 million people globally. microRNAs are a newer field of research that has shown specific regulation in healthy and diseased states of tissues in the body. Regulating these microRNAs therefore could be a viable treatment method to alter disease state and prognosis.
Technology Overview
VCU researchers have identified key microRNA signaling pathways that regulate cartilage degradation and developed a therapeutic regime to proactively prevent severe OA after traumatic injury and reduce the overall deleterious effects of cartilage degradation in an articulating joint. This method has been validated in a bilateral model of anterior cruciate ligament transection in rats.

Benefits

Prevention of osteoarthritis
Reduction in matrix degradation
Reduction in inflammatory signaling

Applications

Prevention of traumatic osteoarthritis
Inflammatory diseases of cartilage
Synovitis treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment

Opportunity
This technology is available for licensing to industry for further development and commercialization.

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