Key points from article :
Senolytics selectively destroy a sizable fraction of the senescent cells that accumulate in old tissues.
UNITY announced the failure of a phase II study of UBX0101, a p53/MDM2 interaction inhibitor, for knee osteoarthritis.
No statistically significant difference change from baseline in WOMAC-A (measurement of pain in OA).
Study adopted a single dose localized injection approach for their delivery of senolytics.
Much lower amounts of the drug can be used - desirable when the drug is a toxic chemotherapeutic compound.
But not clear that the harm done by senescent cells is local to a significant enough degree.
Possible reasons for failure:
- small molecule drug used may just not work reliably enough in humans in comparison to mice
- local administration may be a poor strategy if the goal is to reduce inflammatory burden
- targetted mechanism may not be as useful as hoped
Numerous other groups are working on the problem, and most have what look to be better approaches.