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Breakthrough Achievement: OSTEOproSPINE Successfully Concludes, Earns Spotlight on Cordis Platform


OSTEOproSPINE is a successfully completed project funded by the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 coordinated by Professor Slobodan Vukičević from the University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Croatia. This was second-in-a-row project led by the same coordinator setting new pathways for the innovation in bone regeneration.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from chronic lumbar back pain, which is most often caused by degenerative spine disorders (DSD). This chronic condition has a devastating effect on the quality of life as it impairs the patient’s physical, psychological and social functioning. Due to its high incidence (lumbar back pain is the second most common medical condition after common cold) and chronic nature, lumbar back pain drains healthcare resources and, as a frequent cause of absence, has a direct impact on the economy. Many of these patients need surgical intervention to treat the pain.

OSTEOproSPINE is a novel bone regeneration therapy composed of OSTEOGROW, a therapeutic system developed in the course of the former FP7 - Health project OSTEOGROW in which an autologous carrier (blood coagulum of the patient) and a biologically active recombinant human bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP6) were combined to accelerate and enhance bone repair. In OSTEOproSPINE, this novel drug OSTEOGROW was reinforced with a compression resistant matrix to guide the formation of new bone tissue replacing the standard-of-care used autograft harvested from patient’s iliac crest for the fusion of lumbar vertebrae, which requires additional surgery, pain and recovery.

Learn more about the OSTOGROW and OSTEOproSPINE from the video-clip here.

The main activity within the OSTEOproSPINE has been to test the new bone regeneration drug in patients undergoing posterolateral spinal interbody fusion surgery (PLIF) that aims to stabilise lumbar back in a clinical trial.

After five years and six months, the consortium of 12 partners (Genera Research, Medical University of Vienna, University of Linz, Medical University of Graz, Quality by Experts, Clinres Farmacija, Smart Medico, Triadelta Partners, 2KMM, University of Zagreb Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Eurice) from 5 EU member states has completed a Phase II, randomized, patient- and evaluator-blinded clinical trial. The clinical trial involved 143 patients at three clinical sites in Vienna, Linz, and Graz. The treatment exhibited significant improvements in physical functioning, pain management, general health, and emotional well-being, surpassing the current standard of care.

The project has delivered exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact which has been maximised via continuous communication between the industrial and academic partners. It has been very positively assessed by the two review panels. Continuation of the project is already underway and the results will be further exploited for the benefit of patients.

For this success, the OSTEOproSPINE project has been featured as a H2020 success story on the EU results platform Cordis. We are happy and proud to read about the successful implementation and closure of this part of the BMP6 research story despite the challenges faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The article shortly describes the partners’ journey from a successful FP7 project (OSTEOGROW) to a Horizon 2020 project and what is planned next. It also shows major results as well as facts and figures. Full article can be found here.

Moreover, OSTEOproSPINE is part of our larger portfolio of European R&I projects in health-related biomaterial research – with a specific focus on bone regeneration. This platform represents a pioneering excellence hub to advance orthopedic patient care through innovative research and development. Visit our projects:

Eurice and RISE are both delighted to be a valuable part of this successful journey and we are looking forward to further collaboration with these extraordinary scientists!