New arthritis treatment 'reduces amount of injections needed'

Patients who suffer from the dehabilitating pain of osteoarthritis

could soon see a significant improvement in the treatment of the condition.

Scientists at Pfizer and Bend Research found that using drug nanoparticles allowed patients to remain pain-free for longer.

In tests, the researchers observed how drugs that had been positively charged attached to negatively charged particles in the knee cavity. This allowed the drugs to remain in-situ for up to a week, compared to normal treatment that usually disperses after two days.

"We hope that this type of sustained release technology … will allow patients to be effectively treated with drug injections every three months instead of once a week," said lead researcher Dr Michael Morgen.

Osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease, occurs when the cartilage between bones becomes thin. It the most common form of arthritis in the UK and affects more than eight million people, according to Arthritis Research UK.

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