Samer nuhaily1, Soonpin Yei2, Miguel Meza3, Francesca Incardona2, Heny J Esber2 and BassamB Damaj2,4
1 Rheumatology and Immunology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 2 Immunology/Inflammation 3 In Vivo Pharmacology, Bio-Quant, Inc., San Diego, CA 4 SorrentoPharmaceuticals, San Deigo, CA
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown etiology, characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints andsubsequent destruction of the cartilage and bone. OTC NSAIDs are only approved for temporary pain relief and do not qualify as Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). ApeazTMis an OTC cream approved for temporary relief of pain resulting from arthritis. The main ingredient in ApeazTM is methyl salicylate as anti-inflammatory with glucosamine sulfate,menthol, camphor and methyl sulfonyl ethane as inactive excipients. Because Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is a murine experimental disease model sharing a number of clinical,histological and immunologic features with RA, we used it to study the effect of topically applied ApeazTM, once a day, on the pathogenesis of arthritis. The results show that treatment withApeazTM has great benefit at the clinical and pathological levels, as the therapeutic effect of ApeazTM was associated with the downregulation of both inflammatory and autoimmunecomponents of the disease. Treatment with ApeazTM completely abrogated joint swelling and destruction of cartilage and bone as demonstrated by histopathology and X-ray analysis ofjoints. In addition, ApeazTM reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the joints of arthritic mice. Our data suggest that ApeazTM could be a viable candidate as a DMARD for RA.