The high prevalence of acute bone fractures, in particular in osteoporotic patients and often combined with delayed/impaired healing and well-known complications, poses a significant socio-economic burden on European society. With no adequate therapy available for the treatment of complicated bone fractures and non-unions, medical interventions and healing currently rely on expensive bone devices which are often associated with side effects. Through the development of a more efficient, cost-effective osteogenic medical product with minimal side effects, OSTEOGROW has contributed to finding a solution to this major medical problem.
The originality of the OSTEOGROW approach is based on an innovative formulation and carrier design. The new therapy uses the patient’s own blood to create a clot when in the operating theatre. The implant is then injected with rhBMP6 and placed between the broken bones’ ends, thus stimulating the formation of a new bone where needed. The therapy also has the advantage of reducing inflammatory reactions which are common after the application of conventional bone devices. Within several months, the new bone is created; it only takes millilitres of blood to create the needed autologous blood clot. The design and manufacture of an OSTEOGROW kit enables a direct application to the fracture site, making the OSTEOGROW approach safer than currently used biological bone regeneration procedures and possibly an affordable new therapeutic solution for the enhancement of bone healing and prevention of bone non-unions with a very promising market potential.
OSTEOGROW ran from 2012 to 2017 as an FP7 SME-targeted collaborative project. The successful implementation of the project’s goals helped to enable the continuation of OSTEOGROW with the new Horizon 2020 project OSTEOproSPINE (“Novel Bone Regeneration Drug Osteogrow: Therapeutic Solution for Lumbar Back Pain“). Here, the results of OSTEOGROW will be tested for new indications, giving patients with lower back pain and in need of spinal fusion surgery access to this novel therapeutic option. A positive outcome of the OSTEOproSPINE trial will pave the way for further clinical development of OSTEOGROW regeneration therapy as a bone autograft equivalent for spinal fusion.