Development and use of biochemical markers in osteoarthritis: current update

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Abstract

Purpose of review

There is an increasing demand for noninvasive and descriptive biochemical markers (biomarkers) in osteoarthritis; for enabling early drug development (including translational research), evaluating clinical trial at an early stage and for subtyping. Purpose of the review is to review and comment on current availability of such biomarkers.

Recent findings

Many different biomarkers have been tested in the last 18 months. The main focus has been on testing whether the biomarkers, whether is reflect joint tissue turnover or inflammatory status, can differentiate osteoarthritis patients from healthy controls or whether the biomarkers are associated with progression. Less than a handful of studies, investigate the role of the biomarkers as response markers. Thus, there is still a great need for developing biomarkers that reflect disease activity and thereby can be used for treatment response or patient phenotyping.

Summary

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. This presents the osteoarthritis research community and pharmaceutical companies developing disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) with great opportunities. There are different osteoarthritis subtypes, which complicates the traditional approaches for developing new treatments. If we can identify new markers that can distinguish different subtypes, this can greatly facilitate drug development from early discovery to late clinical development.

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