Getting Ready for the 13th BMP Conference in Dubrovnik: Interview with Dr Mihaela Perić

In the run-up to the 13th Bone Morphogenetic Protein Conference in Dubrovnik in October, Dr Mihaela Perić, Research Associate at the Centre for Translational and Clinical Research at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine, has addressed the synergies between the conference and her work for OSTEOproSPINE. Mihaela Peric will be on site in Dubrovnik to give a presentation.

What are main OSTEOproSPINE outputs to be presented at the Bone Morphogenetic Protein conference?

Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) Conference will be the meeting place of the most renowned scientists working on many different aspects of BMP research. We believe that presenting data on the OSTEGROW family of products as new therapeutic options for bone regeneration will be of utmost interest to the conference audience. The translational nature of the OSTEOproSPINE project, pre-clinical and clinical data as well as potential new indications where the OSTEOGROW products could be of use will be highlighted at the conference. The researchers working on the project have generated supporting data that enable OSTEOGROW to be developed as a new therapeutic option for the regeneration of bone.

How can the OSTEOproSPINE project benefit from the conference?

The EU H2020 project OSTEOproSPINE in its drug development aspect is an extension of the OSTEOGROW project (FP7 programme, GA 279239). OSTEOGROW project enabled recombinant human BMP6 protein to be tested for the first time in humans and the project outcomes confirmed its potential as new biotechnology derived medicine in accelerating bone healing and enhancing bone quality in bone fracture indications. OSTEOproSPINE project has enabled rhBMP6 to be further tested in a phase II clinical trial. Even though the trial is still ongoing and final results are pending, we will present the available preliminary data at the conference. We hope that the feedback received, contacts established and scientific discussions held will further boost the scientific interest in the topic and contribute to project results’ sustainability. Also, as the project will be highlighted in several presentations and be the subject of formal and informal scientific discussions, we are confident that the wide research community will be well informed on the project, its partners, main outcomes and contribution to the EU research and innovation.

How do you see the importance of BMP research in translational and clinical medicine?

The pillars of the OSTEOproSPINE project are in clinical research and translational medicine. Mainly, the research on BMP6 protein, which started decades ago, has been very effectively translated into innovative medicines. These therapies are now finding their way to clinical practice through very successful clinical trials. Currently, not many BMP molecules embarked on this pathway. Therefore, meetings like this are the right place to present the data, exchange knowledge and spread ideas on these fascinating molecules. With more research on BMPs and BMP signalling being conducted, published and discussed, by development of underlying enabling technologies and further advancements of currently developed products, the existing portfolio of BMP-based new therapies could be extended beyond orthopaedic indications towards new medicines for vascular disease, tissue fibrosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, myocardial infarction and many others.