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In this narrative review article, we critically assess the current state of the osteoarthritis (OA) drug development pipeline. We discuss the current state-of-the-art in relation to the development and evaluation of candidate disease-modifying OA drugs (DMOADs) and the limitations associated with the tools and methodologies that are used to assess outcomes in OA clinical trials. We focus on the definition of DMOADs, highlight the need for an updated definition in the form of a consensus statement from all the major stakeholders, including academia, industry, regulatory agencies, and patient organizations, and provide a summary of the results of recent clinical trials of novel DMOAD candidates. We propose that DMOADs should be more appropriately targeted and investigated according to the emerging clinical phenotypes and molecular endotypes of OA. Based on the findings from recent clinical trials, we propose key topics and directions for the development of future DMOADs.

Original publication




Journal article


Ther adv musculoskelet dis

Publication Date





clinical phenotype, clinical trials, disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs), drug development, molecular endotype, osteoarthritis (OA)