Investors & Partners

“There remains a high unmet need for an effective, well tolerated osteoarthritis drug, so understandably we are very excited by APPA’s prospects”
David Sharples, Chair, AKLRD

An ageing population coupled with increasing rates of obesity means that the incidence of osteoarthritis (OA) is set to soar. Not only is the current burden of disease high but also current treatment options are largely ineffective for long-term use. Recent guidance (MHRA, NICE and American Congress of Rheumatology) has determined that paracetamol is ineffective in OA, and nutritional supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin offer no benefit over placebo.

The scope for managing OA is wide, and current estimates suggest that the condition accounts for 1-2.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the USA, Canada, UK, France and Australia. There is an evident global opportunity and need for a medicine that effectively improves joint functionality and slows cartilage destruction in osteoarthritis.

APPA [AKL4] is an investigational medicine that has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in a variety of validated animal studies, including the slowing of cartilage in the rat meniscal tear model. Specifically, APPA has demonstrated pain relief from Osteoarthritis (OA), improved functionality and slowed cartilage destruction. Current approved treatments for OA focus on providing patients with pain relief only and are a short-term solution.

APPA is unique as it directly affects inflammation at its source by regulating intracellular signaling molecules, NFkB and Nrf2. APPA regulates rather than blocking the immune response, allowing host defences to be maintained.
(See our R&D pages for more information on how APPA works).

We anticipate that our investigational medicine, APPA, will be differentiated primarily by its tolerability and it’s potential to be used a first-line therapy. Having successfully passed preclinical toxicology studies, APPA is currently undergoing clinical trials at Liverpool University. The trials, which are led by rheumatologist Professor Robert Moots from the University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, are formally investigating APPA’s safety and efficacy in humans.

APPA has clear potential to meet the unfulfilled therapeutic needs of millions of OA sufferers and is also being evaluated for the treatment of other diseases linked to inflammation, including Alzheimer’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma, a rare connective tissue disease.

“APPA has huge potential to provide an effective treatment for OA”
Professor Robert Moots, Rheumatologist, Liverpool University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease