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Drugs in development: bisphosphonates and metalloproteinase inhibitors

Jon B Catterall and Tim E Cawston*

Author Affiliations

Department of Rheumatology, The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

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Arthritis Res Ther 2003, 5:12-24  doi:10.1186/ar604

Published: 8 November 2002


The destruction of bone and cartilage is characteristic of the progression of musculoskeletal diseases. The present review discusses the developments made with two different classes of drugs, the bisphosphonates and matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors. Bisphosphonates have proven to be an effective and safe treatment for the prevention of bone loss, especially in osteoporotic disease, and may have a role in the treatment of arthritic diseases. The development of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors and their role as potential therapies are also discussed, especially in the light of the disappointing human trials data so far published.

bone; cartilage; collagen; metalloproteinases; tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase