Bone Biologics, an orthobiologic company focused on regenerative medicine, signed an option agreement with UCLA to exclusively license the use of the bone growth factor Nell-1 in the treatment of osteoporosis.
Currently, Bone Biologics is funding the development and formulation of a Nell-1-based product for use as a bone graft substitute focused on bone regeneration in spinal fusion procedures, also under exclusive license from UCLA. Nell-1 has already demonstrated a unique ability to form bone in a targeted fashion with a significantly greater safety profile, making it an attractive alternative treatment modality to other bone growth factors and implanted devices.
The debilitating condition of osteoporosis, the severe loss of bone mass that puts sufferers at increased risk of bone fractures, is currently treated with drugs. The market for osteoporosis therapies is estimated at over $11 billion globally. While most therapies only help prevent further bone loss by inhibiting the osteoclasts, Nell-1 works by inducing the osteoblasts. Costly competing drugs require daily injections.
“We intend to meet the requirements that would allow Bone Biologics to exercise the option to become the exclusive licensee for the use of Nell-1 for osteoporosis therapy,” Steve La Neve, CEO and president, noted. “These requirements include the demonstration of Nell-1’s ability to target multi-billion-dollar target markets in osteoporosis and the demonstration of efficacy in animals. Given the development path we are taking with Nell-1 in the spinal fusion market, we expect to be able to build on that experience as we seek an opportunity to develop Nell-1 for osteoporosis.”