ELENA BOGGIO, MICHELE ZUZZARO, UMBERTO DIANZIANI, PATRIZIA D'AMELIO
Novaicos is a new biotech company developing a nanodrug for osteoporosis that will reduce the risk of bone fractures and ameliorate treatment outcomes with reduced side effects. The drug, called ICOS-Fc, is a monoclonal antibody that selectively acts on the ICOSL receptor expressed on the surface of osteoclasts. The interaction between ICOS-Fc and ICOSL inhibits the development of osteoclasts and their ability to reabsorb the bone, both in vitro and in murine models. Compared with other drugs now on the market, ICOS-Fc stays in the body for a shorter period of time (less than 30 days), thus allowing patients to modulate their therapy and not completely suppress skeletal turnover. Consequently, the risk of "freezing" the bone is eliminated, while allowing specific cells to rebuild the skeletal architecture. The compounds under development will be able to act on mature cells to temporarily inhibit erosive function activity, while also acting on immature cells to slow down maturation and block them at pre-erosive stages. An advanced form of encapsulation for this nanodrug is being developed so it can be administered at lower doses and its action concentrated solely on specific release sites.
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