Pregabalin for Hand Osteoarthritis Pain Management


Treatment of osteoarthritis with Pregabalin in proof-of-concept clinical study has been shown to reduce pain and improve joint function.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of joint disease associated with the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. Recent estimates from Arthritis Research UK suggest that around a third of people aged 45 years and over and up to around a half of people aged 75 years and over may be affected in the United Kingdom. The impact of OA costs the UK economy an estimated £3.2 billion in lost production (UK NICE figures).

According to Arthritis Research UK, about 1 in 6 patients seeking treatment for OA have hand or wrist OA.

Recent meta-analyses and new clinical trials have contradicted current guidelines for OA management, suggesting that paracetamol has poor efficacy in managing OA pain. Pain management in OA is therefore suboptimal for many and novel approaches are needed.

Technology Overview

Pregabalin, a derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid is clinically approved for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Until now there has been no experimental evidence to indicate that pregabalin is suitable as a single active agent for treating OA.

St George’s, University of London ran a proof-of-concept clinical trial that found a class of gamma-aminobutyric acid derivatives, including pregabalin, has significant efficacy in improving pain and joint function in patients suffering from hand OA (Figure 1). 


Beneficial effects of treatment with the gamma-aminobutyric acid derivative include

  • Reducing joint pain in the patient
  • Improving joint function in the patient
  • Reducing joint stiffness in the patient


The present invention provides, in a first aspect, a gamma-aminobutyric acid derivative for use in a method of treating hand osteoarthritis in a patient in need.


The technology will be of interest to pharmaceutical companies. The university would like to collaborate with an industry partners with a view to licensing the technology.

The patients and clinical networks required to perform the phase III clinical trial are already in place.




- Licensing

IP Status

- Patent application submitted

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ana Ara├║jo
St George's University of London
Nidhi Sofat
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