David Hunter, MBBS, PhD: Findings, Implications of Data Regarding TLC599 Injection for Osteoarthritis


In this discussion with Dr. Hunter, the findings his team presented at ACR 2023 were explored, including a discussion about their implications for the future of osteoarthritis treatment.

During his HCPLive interview, David Hunter, MBBS, PhD, spoke with the editorial team about his team’s findings regarding TLC599 for osteoarthritis of the knee, about their implications, and about future research.

Hunter’s team presented their work at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2023 Convergence in San Diego. Hunter is known for his work as a rheumatologist clinician-researcher who also serves as co-director of the Sydney Musculoskeletal Health Flagship at the University of Sydney.

In this segment of his interview, Hunter was asked if he would elaborate on the primary and secondary endpoints of his research, highlighting the key findings.

“The primary endpoint was, 1, neck pain and the secondary endpoints included average daily pain measured on an NRS numeric rating scale and the (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) function,” Hunter explained. “And the primary findings here essentially showed that at 6 months, but also at shorter intervals, that TLC599 provides significant benefit over a placebo injection—saline injection—that sustained out for that 6-month period. So that obviously is broadly better than previous trials done to date, where at least the mean duration of benefit of a placebo for typical dexamethasone would be in the order of 2 to f4our weeks.”

He added that this effect was shown for Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain, average daily pain, and for WOMAC function as well.

“And importantly for a new product, safety was another important endpoint here,” Hunter said. “It was shown to be relatively safe with a few cases of arthralgia, so pain in the joint that was injected, that was usually short term and self-limited.”

Later, Hunter discussed some of the implications for future research in this space.

“The benefit of this for clinicians is that they've now got an injection, hopefully, in the armamentarium,” Hunter said. “Once this product is registered, and it's filing for registration, in the early part of 2024, that should provide more sustained relief than you're likely to see from your standard steroid injections. From here, we would then think about applying this technology to other sites of osteoarthritis with this trial being focused on the knee. But now we'd like to start exploring the potential for its efficacy in other joints such as the hip, the base for the thumb, the ankle, the shoulder, and other sites affected by osteoarthritis. But again, that needs further research, but that's part of the plan.”

The quotes used in this interview description were edited for clarity.

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