Osteoporosis and Osteonecrosis
The team is working to increase the effectiveness of a patient’s own bone-forming mesenchymal stem cells. They have developed a drug that directs the stem cells to go to the bone surface and form new bone, a great advance over current therapies that are costly and inconvenient. In the initial phase of their research, they have focused on ensuring the drug meets the highest quality standards required by the FDA. For the second part of the investigation, they plan to conduct a phase I clinical trial to gauge safety. They hope to work first with healthy volunteers, and then move on to treat patients on chronic glucocorticoids (or steroids) who have areas where bone breaks down faster than the body can make it due to cell death and reduced number of blood vessels. The team wants to determine if the compound LLP2A-Ale can bring stem cells to the area of dead bone and stimulate the formation of new blood vessels and new bone formation. If the treatment is effective, it could prevent the need for joint replacements in young adults.