Unigene Laboratories, Inc. reported that the results of animal studies confirming the ability of its novel technology to rapidly form and maintain natural bone growth at targeted locations has been published. The paper, entitled “Replacement of Bone Marrow by Bone in Rat Femurs: The Bone Bioreactor,” summarizes the early-stage collaborative work performed by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine and Unigene, and appears in the most recent edition of the journal Tissue Engineering.
The paper evaluated the effect of bone marrow removal from targeted sites followed by different schedules of daily injections of anabolic agents such as parathyroid hormone (PTH). The procedure created new bone tissue that appears structurally and biologically normal and demonstrated improved biomechanical properties. The combination of bone marrow removal and anabolic therapy resulted in new bone formation at a rate and to an extent that could not be achieved with anabolic agents alone. Additional studies that extend the results of this work in different animal models are ongoing. These studies should provide further evidence that the newly formed bone can be preserved over a long period of time, and will be described in future publications.
“This technology could radically change the way patients are currently treated for weakened or fractured hips, vertebrae and acute traumatic long bone fractures,” stated Dr. Agnès Vignery, principal investigator at Yale University and senior author of the publication. “Physicians currently treat such conditions using invasive techniques that require operating room time, utilize artificial materials, and result in imperfect outcomes. The ideal approach would be to create new bone where it is needed and at a faster rate.”
Dr. Warren Levy, President and CEO of Unigene said:
“If we are successful in the human studies that are planned, patients will have an inexpensive alternative to spinal fusion, vertebroplasty, total joint replacement or the insertion of metal or plastic supports that will strengthen specific bones naturally. These are major commercial opportunities and we have been told by leading experts in the medical community that there is a great need for new approaches to treat these conditions.”
SOURCE: Unigene Laboratories, Inc.