WEST LAFAYETTE - A $1.7 million National Institutes of Health grant will help Novosteo, Inc. test the efficacy of a new drug to help reduce complications from a broken bone due to a fall. The Purdue-affiliated startup was co-founded by Phillip and Stewart Low, who designed a unique drug that focuses on the fracture site and reduces exposure to the rest of the body. 

The Journal of Internal Medicine reported last year that one in three adults aged 50 or over die within 12 months of a bone-breaking fall. 

“There is a compelling need for this type of targeted treatment. Hip fractures alone are expected to climb by 160 percent to 500,000 fractures annually by 2040,” said Stewart Low. “Even with current medical therapies, the odds of making a full recovery are wholly unsatisfactory. Our goal is to provide a better solution for those who suffer and help them more quickly regain their mobility, significantly decreasing the life-threatening complications that besiege those immobilized by their fracture.”

The company has already done preclinical studies that show the targeted drug heals faster and better than the same untargeted drug, which Novosteo Chief Executive Officer Dan Hasler says could have a large economic impact as well. "Healing a hip fracture can cost over $80,000 from start to finish, including nursing home costs, but frankly, we are motivated by the hope of reducing the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of hip fracture patients annually. It is the face of my grandmother, who died after a long post-hip fracture fight that motivates me.”

Novosteo officials are also investigating other uses for the injectable drug, such as dental implants, and hip and knee replacements. For more information on the testing of the new drug, click here