Challenges and opportunities of pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis: A review of current clinical trials and developments

J.P.M.Vrouwe, J.Burggraaf, M.Kloppenburg, F.E.Stuurman


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of disability in older adults, and leads to a huge unmet medical need, as no registered disease modifying OA drugs (DMOADs), but only symptomatic treatments, are available. New targets and compounds for these targets, are currently under investigation. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of compounds under investigation for OA in phase II and III.


We performed a review of OA trials for pharmacological interventions registered on the National Library of Medicine website with a completion date in 2017 or later.


The database search yielded 255 results, of which 184 studies were included in this review. These were structured in compounds targeting pain, immunomodulators, stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma and DMOADs with cartilage and/or bone resorption modifying properties.


The results provide an overview of the fields in development and may include future treatment options for OA, by which a registered DMOADs may become more than a utopic vista. Further knowledge on pathophysiology and new approaches of value-based drug development could be an opportunity for the optimization of drug development in OA.

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