Israeli startup seeks to boost bone renewal and allow targeted drug delivery

New peptide developed by Bone Sci Bio has shown in clinical trials to be effective in regeneration and integration with existing bone tissue; FDA still needs to approve

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Dental surgery (Pixabay)
Dental surgery (Pixabay)

Israeli startup Bone Sci Bio Ltd. is developing a product that treats bones by promoting the formation and repair of their tissue.

The product, PeptOss, also allows the controlled delivery of drugs, such as antibiotics or chemotherapy, directly to the bone, for various orthopedic and dental applications, the newly founded startup said in a statement.

The firm was set to present its new solution at the MIXiii-BIOMED 2019 Conference and Exhibition, taking place on May 14-16 at in Tel Aviv.

The dual function of PeptOss, of promoting bone regeneration as well as enabling drug delivery, makes it suitable for the treatment of diverse indications in orthopedic and dental medicine, the company said in a statement.

Yaron Rapaport, co-founder and CEO Bone Sci Bio Ltd.

The first application is for the delivery of an antibiotic-loaded preparation for the treatment of peri-implantitis, a destructive inflammatory process that damages the hard tissue surrounding dental implants, which affects 30 percent of patients who receive dental implants within 10 years of implantation.

Future applications will not necessarily be dental: they could include strengthening osteoporotic bones to prevent high risk hip fractures, as well as loading PeptOss with chemotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumor in a bone, to increase the effectiveness of treatment, the statement said.

PeptOss, invented by Prof. Hanna Rapaport of the Department of Biotechnology Engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is made up of a short, proprietary peptide, PFD5, that mimics certain proteins of the bone’s extracellular matrix. This matrix, made up of proteoglycans, water, minerals, and fibrous proteins, determines what the tissue of the bone looks like. PFD5 self-assembles as a hydrogel and, together with calcium phosphate particles, induces the biomineralization of hydroxyapatite, an essential ingredient that gives bones their rigidity.

PeptOss can also be preloaded with a desired drug for sustained release over a period of several weeks directly at the implantation site, the statement said.

The technology was patented by BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University.

In pre-clinical trials, PFD5 has been shown to promote bone regeneration and to improve integration of new bone with the preexisting tissue, with its performance being up to 80% better than the control group in the trials, the statement said.

The technology enables a “holistic approach” to bone treatment, said Yaron Rapaport, co-founder and CEO Bone Sci Bio, who estimated the bone substitute market at $4.5 billion.

“While clinical studies are yet to be performed in order to gain an FDA approval, our breakthrough solution to peri-implantitis is much anticipated by dentists around the world, acknowledging that PeptOss addresses an unmet need and presents a clear competitive edge.”

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