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Start of the world’s first clinical trial studying the efficacy of the combination of chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine in arthrosis of the hand, with GPs as researchers

22 May 2017
Healthcare
  • The PICASSO study, a phase IV clinical trial promoted by Bioiberica and being conducted across 29 primary care centres with the engagement of three Spanish GP societies together for the first time on a study of this type: SEMERGEN, semFYC and SEMG 
  • The study will evaluate matters including pain relief, functional improvement and grip strength, reduction in the number of inflamed and painful joints  and improved quality of life
  • Treatment options that have proven efficacy in small joints are limited today, as research focuses more on arthrosis of the knee

Symptomatic arthrosis of the hand affects 6.2% of Spaniards and is the second-most-common form of the disease after arthrosis of the knee. It is characterised by pain, stiffness and difficulty with normal finger movement, swelling and even deformity of the hands. There are currently limited treatment options that have proven efficacy in small joints, which is why Bioiberica has begun the PICASSO clinical trial which will feature the participation of Spain's three GP societies together for the first time on a study of this type: SEMERGEN, semFYC and SEMG. 

This is a new, multisite, randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial to confirm the efficacy of the combination of chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine in patients with arthrosis of the hand. It is being conducted across 29 primary care centres in Spain and is currently in the recruitment phase.

It is the world’s first clinical trial dedicated exclusively to studying arthrosis of the hands and featuring GPs as researchers. Bioiberica was keen to once again support this specialty, the one of most relevance to arthrosis patients,” said Bioiberica clinical research manager Marta Herrero.

330 patients will be treated for six months with 1200mg of chondroitin sulphate and 1500 mg of glucosamine (Droglican, Bioiberica) a day, or with a placebo. The efficacy variables that will be evaluated include pain relief, functional improvement, measurement of grip strength and reduction in the number of inflamed and painful joints, among others. Quality of life and the presence of mood disorders will also be assessed. “Getting positive outcomes in this study would be a significant therapeutic breakthrough and a safe treatment alternative for patients with arthrosis of the hand, which is why it is fundamental for GPs to get involved, to improve the lives of these patients,” said SEMERGEN president Dr José Luis Llisterr.

SEMG president Dr. Antonio Fernández-Pro added: “Patients with arthrosis of the hand usually experience a diminished quality of life due to pain; they lose mobility in their fingers and suffer an important psychological burden. It is important for research, which usually centres on arthrosis of the knee, to also focus on them”.

The Picasso study was presented in a speech at the 24th National GP and Family Medicine Congress held today in San Sebastián.