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A review of anabolic therapies for osteoporosis

Nancy E Lane* and Ariella Kelman

Author Affiliations

Division of Rheumatology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

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Arthritis Res Ther 2003, 5:214-222  doi:10.1186/ar797

Published: 5 August 2003


Osteoporosis results from a loss of bone mass and bone structure such that the bone becomes weak and fractures with very little trauma. Until recently, the approved osteoporosis therapies prevented more bone loss by altering osteoclast activity and lifespan. Recently, attention has turned away from osteoclast inhibition to agents that can stimulate the osteoblast to form new bone, or anabolic agents. This article reviews both approved and experimental anabolic agents that improve bone mass by improving osteoblast activity, or increasing osteoblast number. The use of the anabolic agents to improve bone mass and strength followed by agents that prevent the new bone mass from being lost may offer the ability to cure osteoporosis and reduce bone fracture healing time.

anabolic; bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2); bone morphogenic protein-7 (BMP-7); parathyroid hormone rhPTH (1–34); parathyroid hormone hPTH (1–84)