“That’s Osteoporosis”: October 20 Marks World Osteoporosis Day

EU-funded projects OSTEOproSPINE, cmRNAbone and SBR are raising awareness for better bone health

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD), marked on October 20, is an annually recurring campaign aiming to raise global awareness for preventing, diagnosing and treating osteoporosis and related degenerative bone diseases. Osteoporosis is on the rise worldwide. Due to demographic change, bone degenerating diseases have a growing societal and financial impact on industrialised nations. In 2020, fractures related to this silent disease are already affecting one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50. The WOD strives to make osteoporosis and fracture prevention a global health priority.

This year’s campaign slogan “That’s osteoporosis” puts a spotlight on the emotional impact of osteoporosis and wants to highlight stories of people living with fragility fractures all over the world. The campaign moreover emphasises the life-changing, debilitating impact of fractured bones for patients in terms of pain and lost independence, while also focusing on the burden of osteoporosis for family caregivers.

With no adequate therapy available for the treatment of complicated bone fractures and non-unions, medical interventions and healing currently rely on expensive bone devices which are often associated with side effects. As bone is the most transplanted tissue after blood, the need for graft materials is enormous. Eurice is a partner in three projects aiming to reduce the burden of broken bones by introducing innovative, long-term solutions that target osteogenesis. Our team supports the projects OSTEOproSPINE, cmRNAbone and SBR-Smart Bone Regeneration in their project management and in innovation-related activities including the dissemination strategy and targeted communication measures.

OSTEOproSPINE aims to improve therapeutic options for patients suffering from degenerative disc diseases. The research will be based on a therapeutic system developed in the course of the previous research project OSTEOGROW, in which Eurice was also a partner. The therapy is designed to guide the formation of new bone at an extra-skeletal site by translating the patient’s peripheral blood into extra-skeletal bone. By generating new bone, the spine’s weight-bearing function will be restored, the severity of back pain reduced and the success rate of posterolateral spinal fusion surgery improved. In the course of the new project, the therapy will be tested in a Phase II clinical trial in four clinical centres. The project’s 12 partners are located in 6 countries and are receiving €6 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Learn more about the project’s vision at https://osteoprospine.eu/.

The cmRNAbone project has set out to develop a novel bone regenerative therapy for trauma and osteoporosis patients. The project's approach is a unique combination of genetic research, advanced nano- and biotechnology and 3D-printing. Making use of recent scientific discoveries related to RNA therapeutic agents, the consortium aims to develop chemically modified RNA encoding specific proteins to influence the healing progression. The produced RNA sets will be combined with non-viral vectors for the RNA delivery to be embedded in a biomaterial ink formulation. The use of a specifically designed 3D-printer for the implant will help to demonstrate the bone regenerative capabilities in practice. Over the next four years, the 11 European partners will receive €6.3 million funding from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Find out more about the project’s aims at https://www.cmrnabone.eu/ or follow along on Twitter @cmRNAbone

SBR focuses on the treatment of large bone defects caused by age-linked conditions such as osteoporosis. The major challenges it aims to address include the design and fabrication of a smart biodegradable membrane that possesses bone guiding regeneration properties, the implementation of a novel, hybrid approach towards intelligent bone regeneration in large bone defects and new treatment capabilities. Patients with large bone defects, non-unions and bone voids will benefit from improved treatment options through a targeted resorbable bone implant based on 3D-printed polymers and advanced technologies for a controlled delivery of active molecules to accelerate bone regeneration. The consortium of 10 European partners from six countries will receive €6.4 million from the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme over the project lifetime of four years. Visit https://www.smart-bone-regeneration.eu/ and learn more about the project.

Partners in all three projects are pleased to support the global campaign for people affected by fractures related to osteoporosis on this year’s World Osteoporosis Day. For more information on the WOD, go to http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org/ or search #WorldOsteoporosisDay on Twitter.