This article was originally published in Start Up
To some, the osteoporosis space may seem crowded with Big Pharma and Big Biotech drugs already on the market and more waiting in the wings. But it's a huge market with many unmet needs, offering start-ups an opportunity to develop even better, safer, more convenient drugs. In this issue we profile four emerging companies that are intent on creating novel bone-building, not just bone-preserving, drugs for the osteoporosis market.
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As Amgen gears up to launch osteoporosis candidate denosumab, a host of smaller players are working on what they see as the next-generation therapies: those that help build up new bone. Tough economic times across the board, plus the high development risks and costs associated with osteoporosis--a chronic, primary care condition--are making financing almost impossible for some.
The class of drugs called beta-blockers--long used for heart disease and migraines--also prompts an increase in bone mass. OsteoCorp will repurpose beta blockers to build bone in the treatment of conditions like bone cancer and osteoporosis.
University of Louisville spin-out Pradama is developing bone-targeting technology that it says will precisely deliver estrogen drugs to promote bone growth without the side effects of other estrogen receptor modulators. Preclinical tests on its lead product for osteoporosis will begin in the first quarter of 2009.