Purdue University-Born Drug Accelerating Bone Healing Moving into Clinical Trials

Feb 24, 2020 | Bone Fracture, Bone Healing, Hip Fracture, Purdue University

Purdue University-Born Drug Accelerating Bone Healing Moving into Clinical Trials

Purdue University researchers have discovered a new injectable drug that will soon move into clinical trials. The drug actually shortens the time it takes for a bone to heal. Designed to treat bone fractures in adults over 60 years of age, it could make slow bone healing a thing of the past. The drug is known as NOV004 and is being commercialized by a venture called Novosteo.

The Problem

Over 6.3 million bones will be broken in America alone this year, reports the National Institutes of Health. The average recovery time for young healthy adults with a broken arm ranges from six to eight weeks. For younger working age people, a more efficient and effective healing process can benefit the individual, their firm, and the economy. 

Generally, as the population ages bone fractures become a more severe problem.  As adults age it becomes easier to suffer a fracture of a bone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the most serious injuries is a broken hip. Difficult to recover from, as the U.S. population of elderly grows, the incidents of hip fracture and break will climb. Currently, there are about 300,000 cases of hospitalization annually. One in three adults aged 60 and up suffering from a hip fracture will die within one year.

With the aging population, hip fractures will climb by 160% to 500,000 annually by 2040, leading to skyrocketing medical costs. Presently, Medicare alone pays $31 billion in hip fractures back in 2015 alone, reported Purdue last year

The Drug

Developed originally at Purdue University in collaboration with Novosteo, NOV004 is the result of a father-son team of Philip S. Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Stewart A. Low, the company’s CSO and Vesting Scholar in Purdue’s Department of Chemistry. The underlying intellectual property was developed in the Purdue laboratory of Low in the Purdue Institute of Drug Discovery.  The drug helps the patient to form new bone tissue at the fracture site while reducing exposure to the rest of the body.

More information about the drug is available here

The Venture

Founded in 2017, Novosteo has raised $2.2 million, according to CrunchBase. The company secured the intellectual property via a licensing agreement with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. Stewart Low is the company’s CSO, while Philip is on the Board. They recently hired experienced CEO Scott Salka who is also executive Chair of the Board. Salka also serves as CEO of TissueGen, a Dallas-based company advancing extended-release biologics and small molecules into human trials based on proprietary polymer technologies. Salka made a considerable name for himself as Co-Founder and CEO of Ambit Biosciences Corporation (novel platform for drug discovery), which was acquired by Daiichi Sankyo for over $400 million in 2014.

The company has received entrepreneurial support from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park District’s Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration supporting the collaboration of startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and others. The hub also offers space for operating, IT support, etc.

The company was the recipient in 2018 of a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health SBIR Phase I/II grant to help fast-track human clinical trials for the company’s drug, NOV004, a novel injectable-targeted drug showing great promise in accelerating and improving the healing of broken or compromised bones. According to the Purdue University-originated press release, the grant would support the drugs’ efficacy testing and preparation for Phase I clinical trials.

Clinical Trials

According to CEO, Salka the company will move into clinical trials later in the year. 

Purdue Actively Discovering

Purdue University has been an influential force in the development of new medicines and treatments. Presently, 288 clinical trials at 4,831 sites across the globe are testing medicinal products developed originally at Purdue. Last year, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) listed Purdue University third in the United and sixth globally for generating startups with university licenses—impressive.

Lead Research/Investigators

Philip S. Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Stewart Low, CSO

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