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Tanezumab Is Effective Osteoarthritis Treatment

Last Updated: September 29, 2010.

Tanezumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds and inhibits nerve growth factor, appears to relieve joint pain enough to improve function in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to research published online Sept. 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Tanezumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds and inhibits nerve growth factor, appears to relieve joint pain enough to improve function in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to research published online Sept. 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nancy E. Lane, M.D., of the University of California at Davis Medical School in Sacramento, and colleagues randomly assigned 450 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee to either tanezumab at various doses or placebo to test the safety and analgesic efficacy of the drug.

In weeks one through 16, the researchers found that knee pain while walking dropped an average of 45 to 62 percent from baseline in the subjects receiving any dose of tanezumab, compared with 22 percent in the placebo group. The drug was also associated with significantly higher improvements in response to therapy than was placebo. Adverse events occurred in 68 and 55 percent of the treatment and placebo groups, respectively; those most commonly reported by the treatment group were headache, upper respiratory tract infection, and paresthesia (9, 7, and 7 percent, respectively).

"In this proof-of-concept study, treatment with tanezumab was associated with a reduction in joint pain and improvement in function, with mild and moderate adverse events, among patients with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee," the authors write.

The research was supported by Rinat Neuroscience. Editorial support was provided by employees of UBC Scientific Solutions and was funded by Pfizer. Several authors are former or current employees of Pfizer; other authors (study and editorial) disclosed financial relationships with various pharmaceutical companies.

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