This month’s bulletin brings news of an onslaught of new medical devices and drugs targeting osteoporosis.
First, we’ll discuss OsteoSight, a tool recently approved by the FDA designed to diagnose osteoporosis.
Then we’ll examine the development of a gene-manipulating drug that claims to increase bone mass.
Finally, you’ll learn about Big Pharma’s latest attempt to repurpose an existing drug– this time using artificial intelligence.
Automated X-Ray Assessment Tool Gets FDA Approval
A new medical device called OsteoSight has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). OsteoSight is a tool that assesses X-rays to estimate bone-mineral density.
According to Naitive Technologies, the developer of OsteoSight, the tool also generates an osteoporosis classification in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines.
“While treatments exist that can help slow the progression of bone loss, the biggest challenge we face is the persistent underdiagnosis of osteoporosis and low bone density,” said Robert Pignolo, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Mayo Clinic and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Naitive Technologies.
Patients are still being diagnosed after a fracture, instead of during a period of timely intervention. By screening patients who are having routine X-rays, we have a real opportunity to identify early bone loss and osteoporosis and prevent fractures.”1
Those familiar with how osteoporosis was first reclassified as a disease will recall the role that medical devices played in creating a market for osteoporosis drugs.
A tool designed to evaluate bone loss and the risk of fracture could be used to recommend non-pharmaceutical interventions. However, it is far more likely it will be leveraged by Big Pharma to sell more of their dangerous and ineffective osteoporosis drugs.
Furthermore, this device will likely continue the unscientific trend of overemphasizing the role of bone mineral density in bone health and fracture prevention.
A new medical device called OsteoSight assesses X-rays to estimate bone mineral density. The device-makers' stated goal is to increase osteoporosis diagnoses. This will likely translate into more prescriptions for osteoporosis drugs.
New Osteoporosis Drug Manipulates Gene Receptors
Scientists at Florida International University (FIU) are developing a new osteoporosis drug applying a tried and failed approach: gene manipulation. The drug they are developing would be taken orally and would increase bone growth by activating a gene responsible for bone creation.
The compound developed by the research team targets a hormone receptor called relaxin family peptide receptor 2 (RXFP2).
“The team first had to pinpoint the right chemical compound to activate the receptor. The NCATS team used robots to screen for small molecules among more than 80,000 different compounds. Chemists then tested hundreds more variations until they found the right match. It was like a key fitting a lock. When they tested it on mouse models in the lab, they saw an improvement in bone density.
“This opens up a new area of study to allow for clinical application to prevent or reverse osteoporosis,” said Maria Esteban Lopez, who worked with Agoulnik on this research as an FIU biomedical sciences Ph.D.candidate.”2
Simplifying a drug’s administration doesn’t make it safer. If this new drug resembles existing osteoporosis drugs, it will prove less effective than non-pharmaceutical interventions. Unlike changes to diet and exercise, a new drug could cause terrible side effects.
We have been tracking the development of this drug and will continue to do so as human trials begin. Meanwhile, Savers already have the safest and most effective strategy for preventing and reversing osteoporosis: diet, exercise, and bone-healthy lifestyle choices.
Drug developers at Florida International University (FIU) are creating a new oral osteoporosis drug that aims to increase bone mass by activating a gene responsible for bone development. Their studies on rats showed improvement in bone density, but the drug hasn't yet been tested in humans.
Malaria Drug Repurposed Into Osteoporosis Drug
Researchers at China’s Peking University International Cancer Institute used an artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning model to discover alternative applications for existing drugs. The result is a new osteoporosis drug that may soon make its way to the market.
The AI algorithm identified a malaria drug that impacts bone development by altering gene expression.
The drug is called dihydroartemisinin (DHA), and it impacts bone by increasing the differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) into osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are the cells responsible for building new bone.
“To evaluate the drug’s effects on bone, the researchers gave mice with osteoporosis extracts of the drug orally each day for six weeks. By the end of the period, they had lost less bone and had healthier bone structure than untreated mice.
Next, to improve delivery to the BMMSCs, the researchers packaged DHA into nanoparticles called MSN-ALN, which had been specially designed to target bone. This treatment was injected into mice with osteoporosis, this time once a week for eight weeks.
At the end of the study period, the animals’ bones were of nearly the same quality as healthy controls and looked much better than untreated mice with osteoporosis.“3
Big Pharma frequently repurposes drugs to maximize their profits, so this reinvention of a malaria drug comes as no surprise. The health consequences of manipulating bone marrow stem cells in this way are unknown.
Human trials will begin to reveal the negative effects of this genetic manipulation, but if the drug makes it to market, other ill effects will likely emerge over time. Big Pharma has a history of hiding and denying the worst side effects of their products.
Researchers from China’s Peking University International Cancer Institute used an artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning model to identify an existing malaria drug that they aim to repurpose into an osteoporosis drug.
What This Means To You
Stay vigilant and stick to tried and true, safe, and effective approaches to preventing and reversing osteoporosis. Don’t be lured by false promises of quick fixes and miracle cures.
The Osteoporosis Reversal Program offers an honest and science-based approach to improving the health and strength of your bones. When you use the natural systems that govern your body to improve your health, those changes are lasting.
By adopting a different lifestyle you can live a fuller life and with enhanced confidence and independence beyond what you thought is achievable.