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University to develop osteoporosis treatment

The University of Manchester's Intellectual Property commercialisation company is to co-develop a novel treatment for bone diseases

UMIP, the University of Manchester's Intellectual Property commercialisation company, is seeking partners to co-develop a novel treatment for bone diseases such as osteoporosis with the prospect of taking the technology forward to global commercial markets.

Ongoing research by the universities of Manchester and Oxford has revealed that a human protein, TSG-6, which is produced by the body at sites of inflammation and which has anti-inflammatory properties, is also a potent inhibitor of bone resorption by osteoclasts. TSG-6 could be of significant interest to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide for the treatment of many common and debilitating conditions associated with bone loss.

For example, in the UK more than half of women aged over 50 suffer from poor bone health, which is mainly due to osteoporosis. The cost of treating osteoporotic fractures in post-menopausal women in the UK is expected to reach £2.1bn by 2020, while the current global osteoporosis market is worth over $9bn.

TSG-6 could also be used to treat bone loss associated with arthritis and cancer, and to promote bone fracture healing.

The technology, which was originally discovered by Professor Tony Day, Dr Caroline Milner and Dr Afsie Sabokbar at the University of Oxford, has now been licensed on an exclusive option to UMIP for 12 months, with the aim of conducting further research and securing a partner able to facilitate access to global commercial markets.

Professor Tony Day, who is now based at the University of Manchester, commented: "Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are commonly occurring, debilitating diseases for which there are currently no cures available. The properties of TSG-6 make this naturally occurring, human protein an excellent candidate for the development of improved treatments for diseases associated with abnormal rates of bone erosion. Aside from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, these include Paget's disease and the bone loss associated with metastatic cancers. TSG-6 could also have applications in improved bone fracture healing in the elderly."

6th September 2010

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