Degenerative arthritis (Osteoarthritis) is a major disease in the elderly, which is mainly caused by aging of the joints, but it is also caused by various factors such as genetic cause, nutritional imbalance, lack of exercise, extreme exercise or injury, and extreme labor, as well as wrong posture and overload caused by obesity, so it frequently occurs in the younger generation also.
When the tissues that support joints weaken due to trauma or degenerative changes, the cartilage tissue that works as buffer is damaged, increasing the friction between the bones and causing pain and inflammation. Inflammation promotes osteophyte formation around the joints, limiting mobility and causing greater pain. Cartilage tissue, once damaged, is naturally not regenerated or restored, and therefore, limits the social activity of the patient for a long time and deteriorates the quality of life.
Current therapeutic methods mostly include conservative therapies such as exercise including weight loss, diet, injection therapy, and drug therapy, tissue regeneration using growth factor, implantation using artificial cultured cells, and surgical interventions such as artificial joint replacement for severe damage. However, there is no treatment to fundamentally restore and repair damaged cartilage tissue more simply and stably. Therefore, the development of a new concept of arthritis treatment is urgently required.
Engedi1000 (E1K) is a synthetic peptide substance that prevents arthritic cartilage degeneration, regenerates articular cartilage, and relieves pain. Such effects of Engedi 1000 is due to the signaling pathway of TGF-β1, a protein that promotes degeneration of articular cartilage tissue. Engedi1000 joins TGF-β1 and selectively blocks Smad1/5/8 pathway, which promotes degeneration of cartilage tissue, and maintains the Smad2/3 pathway that induces cartilage tissue regeneration. It also reduces the painful factor, NGF gene expression, reducing pain accordingly.
Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved the phase 1 clinical trial plan for Engedi1000, and phase 1 trial is being conducted at Seoul National University Hospital to evaluation the safety, tolerance, and pharmacodynamics characteristics evaluation on Engedi1000 administration on 24 osteoarthritis patients. When phase 1 trial is completed, it is expected to enter the global market as the new DMOAD (Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs).