ROR2 blockade for cartilage regeneration and pain relief in OA


Osteoarthritis is due to loss of cartilage in the joints. Without cartilage, patients struggle with walking, climbing stairs and sometimes even opening a jar is problematic. Pain killers help initially, but when cartilage is destroyed, a joint replacement is the only remedy that can return patients to some degree of independence, but not to full function. Joint replacements have a finite life and revision surgery to replace them is complex.
The project team discovered that blocking a specific receptor on the surface of cartilage cells induces cartilage regeneration and sustained pain relief in mice with osteoarthritis. Additionally it has been shown that this approach also works on human cartilage.

Facts and figures

Project lead
F dell'Accio
Queen Mary University of London
FOREUM research grant: €599'862
2019 - 2022

Meet the team

F dell'Accio
Queen Mary University of London
AS Thorup
Queen Mary University London
S Lohmander
University of Lund
JC Bertrand


This project aims to develop the first drug that can treat pain in osteoarthritis and restore the cartilage that has been lost and avoid joint replacement.

This research aims at validating ROR2-dependent biomarkers for patient selection and rapid efficacy assessment.

Aim 1: Generation and validation of a humanized monoclonal blocking antibody to ROR2
Aim 2: Stabilization of siRNA delivery
Aim 3: Biomarkers for patient selction and efficacy assesment

Patient voice

Patients with arthritis have helped identifying the priorities of the study and have also helped understanding what would be acceptable in terms of frequency of injections, thereby effectively setting the goals of the project. During the tenure of the grant, they will be asked to review the results and help in the decision-making process.