FLEXISEQ™, an award winning, drug-free, osteoarthritis treatment launches in Ireland, promising relief for 450,000 sufferers.

Dublin, Ireland 4 June 2013 – Pro Bono Bio® is pleased to introduce its new topical treatment for osteoarthritis, FLEXISEQ, to Ireland. Ireland has over 450,000 sufferers of this debilitating disease according to Arthritis Ireland and FLEXISEQ provides a versatile and novel treatment option for patients.

John Church, CEO of Arthritis Ireland said “We welcome any new innovative approach to making life easier for the 450,000 people living with osteoarthritis in Ireland. We look forward to hearing patient feedback on this drug-free product; and working with physicians to see where FLEXISEQ best fits in the treatment options of this chronic and painful disease”.

Professor Geraldine McCarthy from Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, in Dublin said “I have been aware of FLEXISEQ since its launch in Germany last year and welcome its arrival in Ireland, as we have a real need for new treatments for the symptoms of osteoarthritis. I look forward to hearing feedback from our patients.”

FLEXISEQ is an innovative treatment, researched and developed in Germany, for the management of pain and joint stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis. The drug-free gel is supported by a wealth of clinical data; a review of the results of one large clinical study was recently published in Rheumatology, the official journal of the British Society for Rheumatology.  

Professor Philip Conaghan, from the University of Leeds, and lead author of this 1300 patient study said: “Most people with osteoarthritis live with chronic pain that interferes with their daily activities. Many can’t take or can’t tolerate current oral analgesics because of side effects. There is therefore a huge unmet need for effective and safe analgesics for osteoarthritis. The new study is interesting because it suggests that a novel topical therapy, that doesn’t include a topical anti-inflammatory drug, may help osteoarthritis pain”. 

Professor Wolfgang Bolten, president of ‘Rheumaliga Hessen’ (Germany) and co-author of the study, highlighted the relevance of its findings for the population of cardiovascular patients also suffering from osteoarthritis and at risk from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) related side effects: "For topical FLEXISEQ, the study showed the same pain and stiffness reducing qualities as oral celecoxib. As it does not contain any NSAID (or other pharmaceutical ingredient), side effects are very rare and it does not interact with other drugs. Therefore the many elderly osteoarthritis patients with cardiovascular problems, in which NSAIDs are contraindicated, can be treated at low risk.” 

FLEXISEQ has been generating a lot of interest recently, from the findings of a patient survey demonstrating the product’s effectiveness in a “real world” setting in addition to the clinical studies, to it being awarded “Innovation of 2013” by the Federal Association of German Pharmacists, recognising its novel mode of action. Pro Bono Bio is now launching FLEXISEQ in other countries in Europe and Asia.

Pro Bono Bio’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Earl, said of the launch: “This latest launch of FLEXISEQ offers a great new treatment option to Irish sufferers of OA, particularly the “at risk” patient groups. It is also an important further development for the company as we expand the countries we operate in”.

Notes for editors:

Sequessome Technology® 

 FLEXISEQ employs Pro Bono Bio’s patented Sequessome Technology rather than an active pharmaceutical ingredient to target a root cause of the disease, relieving pain with comparable efficacy to celecoxib, a leading prescription drug used for treating OA pain. Sequessome Technology utilises nanostructures called Sequessome™ vesicles that cross the skin barrier after the gel's topical application and migrate through various tissues to the target joint. Once inside the joint, Sequessome vesicles accumulate on the damaged cartilage forming a lubricating layer.

This targeted, physical mode of action crucially means there are no drug-to-drug interactions with FLEXISEQ as it is not itself a drug and, as a result, it can be used by patients who may be taking a variety of medications for other diseases, without increasing their drug burden. FLEXISEQ is also a welcome option for patients considered ‘at risk’ from the more common side effects associated with NSAIDs for example, those with such conditions as high blood pressure, gastric disorders or asthma.

About Pro Bono Bio  

Pro Bono Bio is an innovative pharmaceutical and nano medical device company launched in 2011. Pro Bono Bio launched FLEXISEQ in Europe in the first half of 2012 and plans to launch two further new products for the treatment of inflammatory skin disorders in 2013. These new products, ROSSOSEQ® and EXOSEQ™, are based on Sequessome Technology, the same technology that powers FLEXISEQ. Pro Bono Bio expects these to launch in Ireland in late 2013.

Pro Bono Bio has ambitious growth targets that will allow it to support a unique humanitarian mission. In 2012 it started that mission by supporting elderly pilgrims from Senegal on the Hajj to Mecca, alleviating the joint pain caused by long periods of walking and kneeling.