Romosozumab arose from a genetic discovery that revealed the body’s own natural ability to increase bone strength. It is a treatment which aims to block the activity of the protein sclerostin. This diminishes bone breakdown and removal and stimulates bone formation, thereby increasing bone strength. The effectiveness and safety of romosozumab for the treatment of osteoporosis in men has been studied in a phase III clinical trial. The study showed that romosozumab given by injection monthly for a 12 month period significantly increased the formation of new bones, reducing the risk of a fracture. Romosozumab was also found to be safe with no significant adverse effects.
Palovarotene is in clinical development for episodic use in the prevention of heterotopic ossification (HO) in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). FOP is a disabling condition, caused by the formation of bony bars within the muscles of the body (HO). This bone formation is usually first noticed in early childhood as a series of hard lumps in the neck or along the spine. These lumps, which may be tender, gradually shrink in size as the affected muscles are replaced by bone. The appearance of bony lumps in muscles is usually spontaneous but can also be provoked by any injury to the muscles.