Osteoarthritis Affects Millions of People

Scripps Research is pioneering treatments that go beyond treating symptoms. We’re restoring health to aching joints.

Pioneering medicine is changing the course of osteoarthritis.

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By merging chemistry, biology and drug discovery, Scripps Research helps bodies repair themselves.

As we get older, the aging of our bodies may often seem inevitable, with millions of people suffering from one of the most common chronic ailments—osteoarthritis. The disease stems from the wearing down of the cartilage that protects the ends of our bones. Aside from invasive surgery, the only current therapies are drugs that treat the symptoms of the disease: pain and inflammation. But our researchers are committed to transforming the standard of care for this condition, devising pioneering medicines that target the root of the disease.

By merging expertise in chemistry, developmental biology and drug discovery, we are quickly working to decipher how joints deteriorate with age and use, and how the molecular changes can be exploited to prevent or reverse the progression of osteoarthritis. With precise disease models and cutting-edge technologies, our teams have already taken a fundamental biological discovery and translated it into a groundbreaking therapeutic candidate.

This bench-to-bedside focus at Scripps Research has yielded the first-ever potential disease-modifying drug for osteoarthritis, which is currently in clinical trials. By activating those cells that generate new cartilage, as well as preventing the destruction of existing cartilage, this therapy could remove one’s physical disability and pave the way for a healthier, happier course of aging.


A Novel Drug to Modify Osteoarthritis

  • Begin with Cells

    Specialized cells already reside in our knee joints, ready to mature into specific cell types.

  • Generate New Cartilage

    Our novel drug stimulates the these cells to develop into chondrocytes, which produce and maintain healthy cartilage.

  • Conduct Extensive Testing

    After successful pre-clinical testing, we entered a phase 1 clinical trial, which demonstrated positive results in human patients.

  • Take Next Steps

    Working toward eventual FDA approval, we’re preparing a phase 2 clinical study with a larger group of patients.

Thirty million Americans live diminished lives due to osteoarthritis. At Scripps Research, we’re restoring health to knee joints and mobility to people.

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