Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Efficacy and safety of a novel synergistic drug candidate, CRx-102, in hand osteoarthritis
  1. T K Kvien1,2,
  2. E Fjeld3,
  3. B Slatkowsky-Christensen1,
  4. M Nichols4,
  5. Y Zhang4,
  6. A Prøven3,
  7. K Mikkelsen5,
  8. Ø Palm6,
  9. A A Borisy4,
  10. J Lessem4
  1. 1
    Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2
    Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
  3. 3
    Department of Rheumatology, Martina Hansens Hospital, Sandvika, Norway
  4. 4
    CombinatoRx Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5
    Department of Rheumatology, Lillehammer Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Lillehammer, Norway
  6. 6
    Department of Rheumatology, Østfold Hospital, Sarpsborg, Norway
  1. Professor T K Kvien, Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Box 23 Vinderen, N-0319 Oslo, Norway; t.k.kvien{at}


Objective: The novel synergistic drug candidate CRx-102 comprises dipyridamole and low dose prednisolone and is in clinical development for the treatment of immunoinflammatory diseases. The purpose of this clinical study was to examine the efficacy and safety of CRx-102 in patients with hand osteoarthritis (HOA).

Methods: The study was conducted as a blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial at four centres in Norway. Eligibility criteria included being of age 30–70 years, at least one swollen and tender joint, a Kellgren–Lawrence (K–L) score of 2 or higher on radiographs, and a score of at least 30 mm pain on the Australian/Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index (AUSCAN) visual analogue pain scale (VAS). The primary endpoint was a reduction in pain from baseline to day 42 on the AUSCAN pain subscale. Two-sided p values for the differences in least squares (LS) means adjusted for baseline are presented.

Results: The mean age of the 83 patients with HOA was 60 years and 93% were females. CRx-102 was statistically superior to placebo at 42 days for changes in AUSCAN pain (LS mean −14.2 vs −4.0) and for clinically relevant secondary endpoints (joint pain VAS (−18.6 vs −6.3), patient global VAS (−15.9 vs −4.2)) in the intention to treat population. The most frequently reported adverse event during the study was headache (52% in CRx-102 vs 15% in the placebo group).

Conclusions: The novel synergistic drug candidate CRx-102 demonstrated efficacy by statistically reducing pain compared to placebo in HOA and was generally well tolerated.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: MN, YZ and JL are employees of CombinatoRx Inc, the producer of CRx-102. The statistical analyses were performed by the sponsor in collaboration with the principal investigator (TKK).

  • Funding: This study was funded by CombinatoRx Inc, the producer of CRx-102.

  • Ethics approval: The regional ethics committee evaluated the study, the storage and analyses of data was licensed from the data inspectorate, and approval for the collection of biologic material was obtained from the Department of Health.