Biomaterial-based local sustained delivery allows long term effective local drug levels resulting in lasting pain relief.
Effective, safe and long-term pain relief in osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain can be achieved by local biomaterial-based controlled release of drugs; drug-loaded biomaterials slowly release their cargo by diffusion and biomaterial degradation. A solid body of preclinical evidence was generated on intra-articular and intradiscal release of the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib. Celecoxib is an efficient anti-inflammatory drug that has serious side effects upon oral intake, and has difficulties reaching the joint fluid and intervertebral disc at therapeutic levels via the blood. However, celecoxib delivered intra-articularly and intradiscally by biomaterial microspheres was observed to be safe and induce long-term reduction of inflammation and pain in small animals and canine patients, at doses of less than the equivalent of one single pill for daily intake. Epione Therapeutics proprietory biomaterial platform is already in human patients for other drug delivery applications. Moreover, the platform also allows for loading and delivery of other payloads including protein drugs, thereby also paving the way towards, for example, the delivery of regenerative factors.
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