By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Bone fractures will now heal fast thanks to drug
molecules developed by a team of Indian scientists from a tree that
thrives in the Himalayas. The drug stimulates bone formation filling
up the fractures at a rapid pace.
Scientists from the Central Drug Research Institute, a CSIR laboratory
based in Lucknow, conducted research on the Himalayan tree after they
found that its bark was being used in ethno-traditional medicine as a
poultice for rapid fracture healing in Kumaon and Garhwal region. They
discovered novel bone anabolic (growth) agents in the tree’s bark. The
tree grows at elevations of 800 metres to 3000 metres above sea level.
CSIR-CDRI has executed an exclusive licence agreement with a USA-based
firm, Kemxtree LLC, for accelerated healing of fractures by
stimulating bone formation using these novel bone anabolic agents. The
research team comprised Dr Naibedya Chattopadhyay, Dr Rakesh Maurya,
Dr Sabyasachi Sanyal, Dr Girish K Jain and Dr Anil K Dwivedi. The
compounds obtained from the Himalayan tree reversed the pathology of
bone loss disease by inducing new bone formation in animal models
established for testing post-menopausal osteoporosis.
In the first phase, these molecules will be developed as an orally
active rapid fracture-healing agent, said Dr Vinay Tripathi, senior
principal scientist and head, Division of S&T Management, CSIR-CDRI
Bone anabolic therapy (treatment for rebuilding new bone) is an unmet
medical need. The only available bone anabolic agent today is a
fragment of human parathyroid hormone (PTH) that suffers from many
limitations like prohibitive cost of treatment and safety aspects
including bone cancer.
On the other hand, the CSIR-CDRI molecules have the promise of
overcoming many of the disadvantages associated with PTH. Indian and
international patent applications have already been filed to protect
this invention. Dr Ravi Natarajan, CEO, Kemxtree LLC said currently
there is no therapy available for accelerating the fracture healing
process and the new molecules would be of great help to fracture
For a country like India, where thousands of accidents occur daily and
the victims in large measure are from economically deprived section of
the society, rapid fracture healing agents such as these would help
the victims returning to the job early.
Besides their bone healing properties, these novel bone rebuilding
agents hold tremendous promise for use in the treatment of other bone
loss conditions such as secondary osteoporosis (that result from
exposure to anti-inflammatory steroids) as well as primary
osteoporosis (post-menopausal and aging-induced bone loss.
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