Artialis(Liège) and Tilman(Baillonville), two Wallonia-based biotech companies specialized in joint disorders and medicinal plant therapy respectively, through combined efforts are making a name for themeselves with effective “natural” treatment of joint disorders.
Everyone knows joints can cause pain, which over time can become a chronic disabling condition and eventually have a significant impact on the quality of life. Because the effects of conventional treatments remain modest and due to the increasing preference for “natural” products Tilman recognized there was an unmet medical need in the treatment of joint pain and the conservation of cartilage. Until now the conventional treatments available and their effectiveness have been limited. Yvan Direckxsens (CEO of Tilman) expressed that recent studies have shown that the effective ingredient, Curcuma, in its plant-based supplement Flexofytol® maintains joint comfort by acting at the joint preservation level and thereby limits the aging of cartilage. Nevertheless, Direckxsens realized that the specific measurement of cartilage degeneration that could reveal these effects was needed; and the need for Artialis all the more evident.
As a result, collaboration with the biomarker specialist was established.
Through this endeavor, an exploratory clinical study recently demonstrated the effect of the dietary herbal supplement and its effect on joint activity. Thanks to the innovative biomarker COLL2-1*, developed by Artialis, this study has confirmed the effectiveness of the Curcuma-based product by revealing a decrease in joint pain and cartilage degeneration. These innovative biomarkers are crucial in that they allow for early diagnosis, which in turn allows for early treatment. Using biomarkers, in this case COLL2-1, detectable in blood serum, synovial fluid and urine, earlier diagnosis of the joint disorder is made possible. Early diagnosis of joint disorders such as Osteoarthritis, a debilitating disease commonly linked to other serious illnesses such as diabetes, thrombosis and myocardial infarction, is crucial because often times it is identified at too late a stage of development to be treated effectively.
But, thanks to this innovative biomarker such dilemmas involving early detection is hopefully about to change.
From the results provided using the COLL2-1 biomarker for efficacy-follow-up, this Curcurma-based product has proven to be effective in improving cartilage metabolism. In fact, Houtaï Choumane (Managing Director of Artialis) confirms that this recent study verified the effect of Flexofytol® on several blood biomarkers as well as on patient comfort in which a significant decrease in biomarker Coll2-1 and a positive overall assessment of the patient over time was observed. In other words, this trial has demonstrated that Flexofytol® can actually decrease a cartilage-degradation biomarker that in turn could mean that the cartilage metabolism has improved. Moving forward, the two companies plan to continue their Walloon collaboration with a larger scale clinical trial to further confirm these promising results.
It will be exciting to see how Artialis and Tilman continue to demonstrate what happens when biotech innovation meets plant based healthcare to bridge the gap between joint disorders and effective treatment.
*Coll2-1 is a degenration specific biomarker of type II collagen and is classified by the OARSI (Osteoarthritis Research Society International) as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis.
**Flexofytol® – a patented formula, based on a bio-optimized extract of turmeric that considerably improves joint comfort by acting on 2 levels: on the complaints, by quickly relieving joint discomfort. - on wear and tear, by slowing down the damage to the cartilage. With no side effects, it can be used for long periods without digestive complications. An added benefit; turmeric protects the digestive wall and helps digestion.