Discovery of New Drugs for Bone Diseases


Bone diseases characterised by bone fragility are associated with an increase in the number of fractures due to reduced bone mass. Various factors such as progressive ageing, the menopause, diets, pathologies or treatments produce a significant loss of bone quantity and quality, reducing bone resistance. This results in the appearance of diseases such as Osteoporosis, a highly prevalent disease associated with ageing, or Osteogenesis Imperfecta (a rare disease), with the consequent increase in the risk of fractures. Osteoporosis is responsible for a large proportion of fractures in people over 50 years of age and is a major health problem due to its repercussions not only on the health and quality of life of patients but also because of the economic and social cost of its treatment and its consequences.

Thus, both as a consequence of the prevalence of osteoporosis and the lack of suitable treatments, it is essential to focus on the research and development of new drugs from a radically different approach. Thus, in the M4B project, bone formation will be pursued by acting directly on the cells that form new bone (osteoblasts), thus eliminating significant side effects. Thus, unlike current treatments, new drugs will be developed that act by directly stimulating the formation of new bone at the level of the osteoblast for the treatment of diseases that cause bone degeneration.

In this scenario, Vicomtech is collaborating in the in vivo study of two murine models to evaluate the most promising candidate drugs. The effects on bone tissue have been analysed, comparing with their own samples without treatment and with healthy control animals, by means of a morphological and morphometric bone analysis of trabecular bone by micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). To this end, the Digital Health and Biomedical Technologies laboratory has fine-tuned its micro-CT equipment and defined reproducible image analysis protocols, thus managing to characterise different groups of available tissues.

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48014 Bilbao (Spain)

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