Injectable drug for faster healing of bone fractures prepares for clinical trials

February 11, 2020

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - One in three adults aged 60 and over suffering from a hip fracture dies within one year. Now, a Purdue University-affiliated startup is moving closer to the start of clinical trials for a novel injectable drug that is targeted to heal broken bones faster and strengthen weak bones.

The Purdue University discovered drug, NOV004, from Novosteo Inc. is unique in that it concentrates at the fracture site while reducing exposure to the rest of the body.

Novosteo, the startup developing the drug, was co-founded by father-son team Philip S. Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Stewart A. Low, the company's CSO and Visiting Scholar in Purdue's Department of Chemistry. The treatment was developed in the Purdue laboratory of Low in the Purdue Institute of Drug Discovery. Currently there are 288 clinical trials performed or in process using Purdue-developed medical treatments at 4,841 sites across the globe.

Scott Salka, who recently joined the startup as executive chair, will use his 28 years of experience as a biotechnology entrepreneur to help Novosteo move its innovations from the laboratory to clinical trials and ultimately in to the hands of doctors and patients.

"We have been working on some amazing science with people truly dedicated to making a difference in reducing the mortality and improving the quality of life for our aging population," said Salka. "We have completed preclinical studies with NOV004 and are looking to take it to clinical trials later this year."

As CEO, Salka has successfully led efforts to advance novel drugs through preclinical and early clinical development, most recently at publicly traded Ampliphi, now Armata NYSE: ARMP. Prior to that he founded and served as CEO for both Ambit Biosciences, acquired by Daiichi Sankyo OTC: DSNKY, and Rakuten Medical.

Novosteo is already looking at the future use of the injectable-targeted drug for other applications, including dental implants, head and facial fractures, and hip and knee replacements. In addition, Novosteo has a pipeline of drugs for treating an array of musculoskeletal maladies. Salka will present some of the technology at Biocom's Global Life Science Partnering Conference this month in La Jolla, California.

Novosteo's technology is licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The company also received entrepreneurial support from Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park District's Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration where startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and companies can collaborate with Purdue to address global challenges in health, sustainability, IT and space.

The Purdue Institute of Drug Discovery is situated near the district, a $1 billion-plus long-term enterprise to support a transformational center of innovation on the western edge of the Purdue University campus. The district already includes a public airport with a 7,000-foot runway, and partnerships international companies including Rolls-Royce, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Saab. Visit Discovery Park District.
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About Novosteo Inc.

Novosteo was founded to reduce the morbidity, mortality and loss of productivity associated with bone fractures. Based on discoveries of agents that accelerate bone regeneration and breakthroughs in methods to target these agents selectively to fracture surfaces, Novosteo has designed a series of fracture-targeted drugs that concentrate a drug's healing power specifically at the fracture site, thereby greatly accelerating and improving the healing process. The mission of Novosteo is to reduce the debilitating and often life-threatening effects of bone fractures. More information is available on the Novosteo website.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org.

Writer: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341, cladam@prf.org

Source: Scott Salka, ssalka@novosteo.com

Purdue University

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