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Investigation of structure-function relation of novel botanical extracts/ their use in treatment of joint disease

Focused on the identification of new strategies for the
treatment of common joint degenerative diseases
(ostcoarthritis) using botanical extracts modified and
standardized according to relevant biological activity.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the major disabling disease conditions associated with the aging of the body that profoundly reduces mobility and has a large impact on the quality of life of man and animals. Although the onset of OA may be different and related to trauma or physical wear and tear, it eventually leads to degradation of joint cartilage function and impairment of mobility and severe joint pain. With the growing of the human population the number of people that develop OA will increase substantially in the next decades. In addition, this disabling condition is a significant health problem in large breed pet dogs. In Europe and the U.S., over 120 million dogs are kept as a companion animal. For both man and animal no pharmaceutical treatment is available that can prevent or delay the onset of OA. Botanical extracts have been used in man for centuries and are able to reduce disease symptoms considerably without the development of severe side effects associated with some pharmaceutical pain reducing medication. However, effectiveness may vary due to lack of the proper standardisation of botanical materials and extracts. The application of botanical extracts for the treatment of canine OA is not general practice because proper validation for the use in dogs or other companion animals is lacking. This project therefore aims to identify novel extract forms of botanicals standardised to biologically relevant marker compounds that are suitable to modify the disease process in OA in general. More specifically this project focuses on the application of these novel botanical extracts in dogs, which is an innovative approach to address this frequent disease condition in this important and large group of companion animals. This project is focused on new strategies for the treatment of joint degenerative disease (OA) using novel botanical extracts. Long- term pharmaceutical treatment as is applied in humans is often not possible in dogs due to severe side effects. Treatment is currently focused solely on pain reduction and no disease modifying pharmaceutical preparations are available. Treatment of joint disease with particular botanical extracts has been used traditionally in man for many hundreds of years and may provide a suitable alternative treatment for pain reduction and delaying the onset of disease. Some of these botanicals have been studied in clinical trials in man with variable outcomes. One of the major reasons for variable clinical results is caused by major variability in the plant materials and the way it is processed to standardized extracts. The manufacturing of a consistent product is hampered by a lack of knowledge on the relation between chemical composition and biological activity. In many cases the marker compound used for standardisation is not relevant to the biological effects. Therefore, it is of great importance to investigate the proper structure function relationship in botanical extracts in order to develop efficacious and consistent botanical dietary supplements. The aim of this project is to generate specific knowledge on the structure-function relationship of botanical extracts in the context of their use in the treatment of OA. The proposed research will result in the identification of novel botanical extraction procedures and standardisation methods, which are relevant to the biological efficacy of these extracts. This knowledge will create new and improved product options in the future. In addition, this project will generate specific knowledge on mechanistic, safety and efficacy of botanical based treatments of OA in general and applications in dogs in particular. This knowledge is indispensable for the successful development and commercialisation of botanical dietary supplements for human and veterinary use. This project comprises a research track in which the biological activity of newly developed botanical extracts is determined with respect to anti-inflammatory activity and modulation of chondrocyte function using appropriate in vitro bioassays (NUMICO RESEARCH). The observed biological activity is subsequently linked to detailed chemical analysis of the extracts and activity guided fractionation of extracts (PHYTOCON). Using this information, extraction methods are further adapted in order to optimise extract composition and standardised to gain materials with optimal efficacy and marker compounds relevant to the observed biological effect (PHYTOCON/NUMICO RESEARCH). The preferred form of the extracts will be further evaluated in vivo in canine osteoarhritis in which the pharmacokinetics, effectivity and mechanism of action of dietary intervention with novel botanical extracts is investigated in detail (Numico Research/UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT). Keywords: botanicals, extracts methods, bioactivity, joint diseases, companion, animals.
Acronym: 
BIOBOTANICS
Project ID: 
2 765
Start date: 
01-07-2002
Project Duration: 
48months
Project costs: 
2 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Nutrition and Health
Market Area: 

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