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Our Science Glossary glossary_o


Orphan Drug Status

Orphan drug status may be granted to a drug by the Office of Orphan Products Development in the United States or the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) in Europe. It is designed to encourage the development of drugs which are necessary but would be prohibitively expensive/un-profitable to develop under normal circumstances and provides tax incentives and other advantages to companies engaged with the development of such drugs.


A disease of the joints caused by the breakdown and loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. With repetitive use, pain, swelling, warmth and creaking may be noticed in the affected joint. Though weight loss and avoiding stress on the joint will reduce joint pain and inflammation, there is no specific treatment for osteoarthritis.


A systemic disease characterised by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to enhanced bone fragility and consequent increase in fracture risk.

Overactive bladder

A chronic medical condition in which a large muscle in the bladder (the detrusor) is too active, causing frequent, strong and sudden urges to urinate even when the bladder is not full. In addition to urgency, symptoms include urinary frequency and wetting accidents.


A cell found in bone; its function is to form the tissue and minerals that give bone its strength.


A cell that resides within adult bone and is involved in the maintenance of that bone.