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Alison Liddy, ReleviumBio

An injectable gel treatment to give superior relief and protection from knee osteoarthritis.

What problem are you solving and what is innovative about your approach?

Roughly 250 million people are affected by knee osteoarthritis (KOA) worldwide. Chronic pain is the #1 symptom for KOA patients, with a reported 84% of patients reliant on damaging oral pain medication for relief. Long-term use of oral pain medication has serious side effects, leading to gastric & organ damage, cognitive decline, and dependency. As the disease progresses, patients need to increase their oral medication dose and supplement with repeat injectable treatments to control their pain. Current injectable treatments for KOA damage cartilage, suppress the immune system, and do not give adequate relief, leaving patients with no other option for relief but oral medication. These issues are highlighted in the fact that 2 million patients in the US receiving injectable treatments need to supplement with opioids to get adequate relief.

ReleviumBio was created to develop a treatment that addresses the need for adequate pain relief without the side effects of oral medication. Our solution gives superior relief and protection from knee osteoarthritis. The treatment formulation is based on the latest scientific understanding of KOA to provide long-lasting effective pain relief, while supporting the preservation of the damaged knee over time but without the side effects of oral medication. This is achieved by selectively blocking the pain signalling pathway within the knee joint without interrupting the sensory or motor joint function, the gel base of the ReleviumBio solution provides the complementary effect of lubricating and protecting the knee joint.

How is this idea commercially attractive?

The total addressable market for KOA is over €7.7 Bn, with 5 million patients in the US and a similar number in Europe receiving injectable treatments every year for KOA.

Our product fits seamlessly into the current treatment landscape and reimbursement pathways, with KOA patients already receiving regular injectable treatments for their chronic pain. Existing injectables are limited both in terms of side effects, pain relief, joint preservation, and efficacy duration (80% of KOA patients are forced to take oral pain medication to manage their chronic pain). ReleviumBio solution very effectively relieves pain and preserves knee function for up to 6 months, negating the need for any additional medication.

Current KOA injectable treatments are reimbursed every six months at an ASP of €650 by healthcare plans in both the US and EU. Given that the average requirement for KOA medical treatments per patient is 28 years, this presents a very substantial market opportunity.

What do you hope to achieve by participating in Big Ideas?

ReleviumBio is developing a platform treatment for osteoarthritis. The company is targeting knee osteoarthritis as a first clinical indication and plan to extend the treatment indications to target other joints affected by osteoarthritis, where the same treatment problems exist. Through participating in Big Ideas, ReleviumBio would like to build awareness of the issues with current treatments for osteoarthritis and share our mission to develop a platform treatment to address the shortcomings of the current treatments and to give people living with OA improved quality of life through superior long-lasting relief.