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Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

The quest for the Holy Grail: a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug

Francis Berenbaum

Author Affiliations

Department of Rheumatology, APHP Saint-Antoine Hospital, 184 rue du faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012 Paris, France

UMR 7079 CNRS, Physiology and Physiopathology Laboratory, University Paris 6, Quai St-Bernard, Paris, 75252 Cedex 5, France

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:111  doi:10.1186/ar2335

See related research by Krzeski et al.,

Published: 10 December 2007


The unfortunate story of the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor PG116800, which had no effect on the osteoarthritic process but had unexpected side effects, highlights the following. First, reality does not always match the theory. Second, cell biology data must be interpreted within the context of a specific environment. Third, the specificity of an enzyme inhibitor is always relative. Finally, a critical evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio of a drug must be carefully conducted and checked before and after launch. Well designed post-marketing surveillance is mandatory.