Start-Up Previews (09/2008)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Bone Building Start-Ups," features profiles of OsteoCorp, OsteoGeneX, Pradama, and Therosteon. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Aileron Therapeutics, Cohera Medical, CoLucid Pharmaceuticlas and Endogun Medical Systems.
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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.
A discovery of the mechanism behind rare genetic condition sclerosteosis led to some new insights about bone growth. OsteoGeneX has now set out to discover small molecules that could inhibit the sclerostin pathway in a variety of potential applications including increasing bone growth in osteoporosis patients, spinal fusion and fracture repair.