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National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre
Our Research: Musculoskeletal

Degenerative joint disease

There are no approved treatments which modify the progress of osteoarthritis. How can we identify the most effective therapies and technologies?

Osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain are major causes of disability, unemployment and societal costs. There are currently no approved treatments that modify the progression of the disease but a number of promising therapies, including vitamin K2 and regenerative technologies are emerging, which we are keen to validate.

Through our research we are:

  • Using data from our previous knee osteoarthritis research that shows efficacy of treatments to define futility thresholds for future studies
  • Employing a futility trial design to evaluate a vitamin K2 supplement, metaquinone, which regulates bone and growth plate cartilage calcification (accumulation of salts). This will be extended to other new emerging therapies
  • Confirming the effect of a  specific biological protein, growth differentiation factor-6 (GDF6), and adipose-derived (fat) stem cells in promoting repair of degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD), under real life conditions by using a novel whole IVD model system.