Therapeutic Focus

Persica Pharmaceuticals aims to bring forward a new therapy to treat patients suffering from Chronic Lower Back Pain (CLBP), a debilitating condition that significantly affects quality of life for which existing treatments are often ineffective.

Costs to society, including treatment, time off work and disability pensions, associated with CLBP have been calculated to be in the range of £12-15 billion per annum in the UK and are the most rapidly increasing of any of the major diseases related to long term disability.  Similar findings have been reported in most advanced countries.[1]

Persica Pharmaceuticals’ research concept is based upon groundbreaking clinical research led by Dr Hanne Albert and Professor Claus Manniche of the Spine Centre of the University of Southern Denmark.  Their research demonstrated that a group of CLBP patients suffered from a bacterial infection that caused pain and inhibited recovery. A clinical trial showed that treatment with an extended course of oral antibiotics resulted in significant improvement to the patients’ pain levels and general physical condition.[2]

Persica is developing a new therapy to treat CLBP based on these observations.  Its key attributes will be demonstrated clinical safety and efficacy while removing the need for extended courses of oral antibiotics.

Persica will specifically be targeting therapy that will be suitable for CLBP patients that have shown changes to their spine identified by MRI scanning and are known as Modic 1 changes/bone odema.  These changes have been shown to be present in 6% of the general population and 35-40% of the lower back pain population.[3]

[1]Maniadakisa N, Grayb, A. The Economic Burden of Back Pain in the UK – PAIN 84 (2000), 95-103.

Deyo RA, Cherkin D, Conrad D, Volinn E. Cost, controversy, crisis: low back pain and the health of the public. Annu Rev Public Health 1991:12:141±156

Grazier KL, Holbrook TL, Kelsey JL, et al. The frequency of occurrence impact and cost of musculoskeletal conditions in the United States, Chicago, IL: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 1984

[2]Hanne B. Albert • Joan S. Sorensen • Berit Schiott Christensen • Claus Manniche Antibiotic treatment in patients with chronic low back pain and vertebral bone edema (Modic type 1 changes): a double-blind randomized clinical controlled trial of efficacy. Eur Spine J, 2013

[3]Jensen TS, Karppinen J, Sorensen JS, Niinima¨ki J, Leboeuf-Yde C (2008) Prevalence of vertebral endplate signal (Modic) changes and their association with non-specific low back pain—A systematic literature review. Eur Spine J 17,1407–1422