Novartis drug discovery repairs arthritic knees in mice

While testing 22,000 drug-like molecules with a robotic screen, Novartis ($NVS) researchers discovered that a compound called kartogenin promoted the repair of damaged cartilage in arthritic mice. Bloomberg reports that the scientists first applied the compound to bone marrow stem cells in the lab, where it spurred the development of chondrocyte cells, the precursor to cartilage. Next, they injected the substance into mice with damaged knee joints. It regenerated the cartilage and helped the mice become more mobile, while also reducing overall symptoms of joint pain. The researchers believe the substance might someday help repair damage caused by osteoarthritis. Details are published in the journal Science. Story