$1.7 Million SBIR Grant Propels Purdue Giant Leap for Faster, Stronger Bone Fracture Healing
A $1.7 million National Institutes of Health SBIR Phase I/II grant to a Purdue University-affiliated startup will help fast track to human trials a novel injectable-targeted drug that shows great promise in accelerating and improving the healing of broken or compromised bones.
Broken or fractured bones are a much more serious condition than many people realize. For the elderly it can be life threatening. In fact, the Journal of Internal Medicine reported in 2017 that “one in three adults aged 50 and older die within 12 months” from fracture-related complications following a bone-breaking fall. Medicare alone paid $31 billion in hip fracture treatment in 2015.
Novosteo Inc., the startup developing the drug, was co-founded by father/son team Philip S. Low, the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Stewart A. Low, a postdoctoral staff member in Purdue’s Department of Chemistry. Eli Lilly pharma vet Dan Hasler serves as president of Novosteo.
“There is a compelling need for this type of targeted treatment. Hip fractures are expected to climb by 160 percent to 500,000 fractures annually by 2040,” said Stewart Low. “Even with current medical therapies, the odds of making a full recovery are wholly unsatisfactory. Our goal is to provide a better solution for those who suffer and help them more quickly regain their mobility, significantly decreasing the life-threatening complications that besiege those immobilized by their fracture.”
Novosteo has already completed preclinical studies that successfully demonstrate how the new-targeted drug heals bone fractures faster and better than the same untargeted drug.
“The ligand/ PtH combination’s ability to attach itself to the site of a bone fracture is an important attribute that makes it hopefully superior to non-targeted options.” Phil Low said. “Currently, the only clinically approved bone fracture healing drug must be applied locally during surgery, where the pharmaceutical is painted directly onto the broken bone. This is an invasive process, and one we’re trying to avoid.”
Hasler said, “This targeted medicine could also have a large human and economic impact. Healing a hip fracture can cost over $80,000 from start to finish, including nursing home costs, but frankly, we are motivated by the hope of reducing the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of hip fracture patients annually. It is the face of my grandmother, who died after a long post-hip fracture fight that motivates me.”
Novosteo Inc. father and son co-founders Philip Low and Stewart Low are developing and commercializing a targeted drug combination that, when injected, is shown to expedite bone fracture healing. (Purdue Research Foundation photo) Download image