What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that impacts over 150 million adults worldwide. OA is caused by aging, obesity, and injury, and the disease occurs when cartilage breaks down in the joint space, leading to inflammation and pain. OA is a leading cause of disability and makes it difficult for people to live full lives.
Nature has engineered silk with striking properties that make it an ideal material to treat joints:
- Its degradation can be controlled, allowing treatment to last several months between injections.
- Silk is safe and biocompatible. It has been used for centuries in medical sutures and is in many approved implanted medical devices.
- Fibroin, the protein in silk, can easily be formulated with a variety of small molecules and biologics.
How are Cocoon’s products different from other osteoarthritis treatments?
Current treatment options, such as oral pain medications (e.g., Tylenol® and Advil®) or injections of steroids or hyaluronic acid, all have either significant safety issues and/or are poorly effective. Surgical options such as total joint replacement are invasive and costly, and many individuals are not good candidates for this type of surgery. Cocoon is committed to developing an osteoarthritis product that is safe, efficacious, and convenient for patients.
How does the treatment work?
A silk fibroin hydrogel containing a proven analgesic/anti-inflammatory drug that aims to significantly reduce pain and inflammation is injected into the painful joint. Once inside, the drug is slowly released over months. Over time, the hydrogel naturally degrades into normal amino acids that are absorbed by the body.
At what phase is the company?
Cocoon is conducting pre-clinical studies to demonstrate the long-term efficacy of its products for osteoarthritis. The company has secured initial financing and intellectual property with a plan to develop products through to clinical testing stage.