Lescarden, a biotechnology company focusing on the development of natural biological therapies for the chronic wound care, dermatology and osteoarthritis markets, has been awarded US patent #6,117,851 for its product Poly-NAG7 as a treatment for osteoarthritis.
Poly-NAG7 (poly-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine), derived from shellfish chitin, is a specially processed short chain polymer of glucosamine, an ingredient recognised for its beneficial effects on joint health.
The patent, entitled The Treatment of Osteoarthritis by Administering Poly-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, was awarded based on two clinical trials examining bioavailability and product efficacy. These studies were conducted by Robert Gracy, and Dr B.R. Rubin at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
Lescarden said that the bioavailability study indicated that Poly-NAG7 is slowly hydrolysed into glucosamine when orally administered. This process results in a sustained-released effect, demonstrated by higher levels of NAG and glucosamine in the blood serum for a longer period of time when compared to regular NAG. This represents a superior delivery system for glucosamine allowing for less frequent dosing.
The efficacy of Poly-NAG7 in the treatment of patients suffering from osteoarthritis was assessed in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study which showed that, when orally ingested, Poly-NAG7 treated patients had lessened pain by several measures compared to placebo. The study results were published in the Journal of the Osteopathic Medical Association.
The researchers concluded that "the study done in a randomised, placebo controlled fashion demonstrated that Poly-NAG7 yielded symptomatic improvement in all the subjects who received it. There was a clear difference in the visual analogue scale pain scores, patient global assessment and physician global assessments between the two groups".
The company said it was now evaluating marketing and distribution options for Poly-NAG7 for both the domestic and international markets. A similar European patent is pending, Lescarden said.