Biotech: Paradigm might be able to fix your bung Ross River virus joints with an injection
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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The painful, debilitating Ross River virus is Australia’s most common mosquito-spread disease, infecting around 4000 people a year, yet the only symptomatic treatments are Panadol or anti-inflammatories.
It doesn’t kill, but the fatigue, swelling and joint pain cost the economy an estimated $2.7-5.6m every year.
Paradigm Pharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) believes it may have a solution: an injected arthritis drug that has just passed a phase 2a clinical trial.
A phase 2a is a trial that tests the dose level. In this case, it was a randomised, double-blinded and placebo-controlled trial on people with chronic Ross River virus-induced arthralgia — joint pain or stiffness.
Paradigm said the trial proved its treatment was safe as well as reduced the disease symptoms.
Of the 18 people treated, 11 were injected with an active drug and seven received a placebo.
After three months, eight of the 11 treated showed “near remission” of symptoms compared to one of the seven who received a placebo.
Paradigm’s drug, pentosan polysulfate sodium, is currently used to treat cystitis and deep vein thrombosis.
The Australian company is repurposing it for a range of joint pain and inflammation diseases such as osteoarthritis and bone marrow lesions which cause joint pain.
Stockhead is seeking comment from paradigm as to what the next steps are for turning the treatment into a Ross River virus drug. As yet, all the company has said is the data “will support discussions with US Department of Defence and pharmaceutical companies”.
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