About knee OA

About knee OA

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OA is a chronic, slowly progressive, joint disease caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage, which leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced motion. OA is generally diagnosed in people over 40 years of age and mainly affects the knees, hips, and hands. Women have a higher risk of becoming affected by OA, as well as individuals with physically stressful jobs or those affected by obesity.



Around 500 million people are affected by osteoarthritis globally, a number which is expected to increase due to the ageing population. The global prevalence of osteoarthritis is 23% in individuals aged 40 and over). Roughly 24 million patients are estimated to receive drug treatment for knee OA. An early diagnosis generally yields best treatment outcomes. There are four disease stages: minor, mild, moderate and severe.

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There is no cure for osteoarthritis. At diagnosis, knee OA is commonly treated with mild analgesics and physiotherapy where the key focus is pain relief and increasing mobility. The second treatment approach includes the use of analgesics (NSAIDs and opioids), intraarticular steroids, and hyaluronan injections.

With 50% of treated patients left with inadequate pain relief or side effects from the treatment, there is a huge unmet clinical need for novel drugs that can increase the level and duration of pain relief without causing systemic side effects.

Based on the current standards, SYN321 with demonstrated favorable safety profile, extended release of diclofenac and decrease of inflammatory response in preclinical trials is well-positioned as a preferred second line treatment for OA.