A new family of peptides have emerged that appear to offer bone anabolic properties, in other words, these short chains of amino acid groups may be the key to reducing degenerative bone diseases. As reported in Pharma Business International, the peptides in question are derived from a fragment of a physiological protein called Insulin- like Growth Factor Binding Protein-2 (IGFBP-2). Studies performed on the peptide have been promising concluding that the peptides ability to induce the bone growth process known as osteoblast differentiation, whilst inhibiting osteoclast differentiation (bone breakdown).
Degenerative bone conditions
Conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis (to name some of the most common types) are degenerative conditions that place a heavy metaphorical burden on people’s lives. The often debilitating symptoms of a worn ball and socket joint in the hip, or a corroded hinge joint in the knee can turn people’s lives upside down! Current therapies target symptoms via pain relief, and dietary measures are good preventative or limiting methods of treating and/ or relieving discomfort, however they don’t reverse the conditions. Around 10million people have arthritis in the UK alone, and it’s an indiscriminate condition affecting people of all ages, but mainly the elderly female population. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, with osteoarthritis affecting about 80% of the 10million sufferers. Although arthritis is most common in the elderly female population, it is also seen quite frequently in younger athletic people who may have repetitively strained their joints or suffered a traumatic injury. I personally have the early stages of arthritis in my ankle due to multiple strains and a break from my footballing days, so it is in mine and millions of other peoples interests for the researchers to harness this peptide, and develop a new out and out treatment for degenerative bone conditions in general.
New form of treatment?
This is one of the first techniques that genuinely appears to both inhibit bone breakdown AND encourage bone regeneration. The mechanism of action behind this peptide is unique, and in the last few days has been officially announced as a pharmaceutical whose rights are owned by Alize Pharma. It is hoped that this new peptide may start to be used as a legitimate treatment for osteoporosis and other rare diseases that impact on bone mineral density. The chaps who invented this unique peptide are Dr. David Clemmons and Dr. Clifford Rosen, and the patent for this product belongs with the University of North Carolina and the University of Maine. The original patent was owned by New Paradigm Therapeutics, but they have sublicensed this to Alize Pharma for a collaborative approach to making the IGFBP-2 peptide into an actual treatment.
Therapeutic peptides are not a new concept, and Alize Pharma have had some success with similar products to this in the past, so there is much hope that something can be introduced to the market in the not too distant future in order to alleviate the pain caused by bone degenerative conditions.
Pharma Business International, (2014). Alizé Pharma acquires worldwide rights on new peptide to tackle bone diseases. Retrieved 12th December, 2014, from http://www.pbiforum.net/en/pbi/rd/921/Aliz%C3%A9-Pharma-acquires-worldwide-rights-on-new-peptide-to-tackle-bone-diseases.htm
NHS Choices, (2014). Arthritis. Retrieved 12th December, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Arthritis/Pages/Introduction.aspx