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Although several effective therapies are available for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and older men, there remains a need for the development of even more effective and acceptable drugs. Several new drugs that are in late-stage clinical development will be discussed. Abaloparatide (recombinant parathyroid hormone related peptide [PTHrP] analogue) has anabolic activity like teriparatide. Recent data from the phase 3 fracture prevention trial demonstrate that this agent is effective in reducing fracture risk. Inhibiting cathepsin K reduces bone resorption without decreasing the numbers or activity of osteoclasts, thereby preserving or promoting osteoblast function. Progressive increases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed over 5 years. Early data suggest that odanacatib effectively reduces fracture risk. Lastly, inhibiting sclerostin with humanized antibodies promotes rapid, substantial but transient increases in bone formation while inhibiting bone resorption. Marked increases in BMD have been observed in phase 2 studies. Fracture prevention studies are underway. The new therapies with novel and unique mechanisms of action may, alone or in combination, provide more effective treatment options for our patients.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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