New drug to fast-tracks faster bone fracture healing

There is a compelling need for this type of targeted treatment.


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A broken bone is a pretty serious injury for anyone. According to the Journal of Internal Medicine, one in three adults aged 50 and older die within 12 months from fracture-related complications following a bone-breaking fall.

Now, a Purdue University-affiliated startup: Novosteo Inc. is developing a drug that will help fast-track to human trials a novel injectable-targeted drug that shows great promise in accelerating and improving the healing of broken or compromised bones. The medication is one of a kind in that it assembles at the fracture site following systemic organization while lessening introduction to rest of the body.

Stewart A. Low said, “There is a compelling need for this type of targeted treatment. Hip fractures alone are expected to climb by 160 percent to 500,000 fractures annually by 2040. Even with current medical therapies, the odds of making a full recovery are wholly unsatisfactory. Our goal is to provide a better solution for those who suffer and help them more quickly regain their mobility, significantly decreasing the life-threatening complications that besiege those immobilized by their fracture.”

Philip S. Low, from the Novosteo Inc. said, “The ligand/ PtH combination’s ability to attach itself to the site of a bone fracture is an important attribute that makes it hopefully superior to non-targeted options. Currently, the only clinically approved bone fracture healing drug must be applied locally during surgery, where the pharmaceutical is painted directly onto the broken bone. This is an invasive process, and one we’re trying to avoid.”

Dan Hasler, president of Novosteo said, “This targeted medicine could also have a large human and economic impact. Healing a hip fracture can cost over $80,000 from start to finish, including nursing home costs, but frankly, we are motivated by the hope of reducing the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of hip fracture patients annually. It is the face of my grandmother, who died after a long post-hip fracture fight that motivates me.”

Low said, “We believe the targeted medicine may also have applications in dental implants, head and facial fractures, hip and knee replacements and complicated hard-to-heal nonunion or complex fractures and possibly spinal fractures.”