Patients with severe osteoporosis who are at high risk of fracture could benefit from a new treatment after NICE recommended romosozumab for post-menopausal women in new draft guidance.

Clinical trial evidence shows that romosozumab (Evenity) followed by alendronic acid is more effective at reducing the risk of fractures than alendronic acid alone.

Further reading:

Osteoporosis leads to nearly 9 million fractures around the world each year, and over 300,000 people per year attend hospitals in the UK with fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Current treatments for people with severe osteoporosis after menopause include bisphosphonates, such as alendronic acid, and other types of medicines, such as denosumab or teriparatide.

Helen Knight, acting director for medicines evaluation at NICE, said: “People with severe osteoporosis often have a poorer quality of life. Fractures due to osteoporosis can lead to hospital stays and limit people’s mobility and independence. Romosozumab has shown clinically significant results that could have a huge impact on the lives of people who have severe osteoporosis.

“Romosozumab is the only drug available that can help to form bone as well as increase existing bone strength. It is the first new treatment for osteoporosis for several years and I’m delighted we have been able to recommend this drug as an option for people with severe osteoporosis.”

A clinical trial showed that people who took romosozumab before alendronic acid had a 50% lower relative risk of vertebral fractures (fractures in the bones of the spine) over 24 months than people having alendronic acid alone. Analysis also showed that the risk of non-vertebral fractures was 19% lower for people who had romosozumab before alendronic acid compared with those having alendronic acid alone.

New research grants available from Royal Osteoporosis Society

The news comes as the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) announces a new round of research grants, with up to £250,000 on offer for osteoporosis research.

This year, it is inviting applications that focus on closing the treatment gap and align with the charity’s recently published four-year strategy, Breaking the Silence 2022-2026. Topics include:

  • Overcoming the barriers to implement clinical interventions which will improve care and lead to quicker and more accurate diagnosis
  • Reducing health inequalities in osteoporosis care

All applicants are encouraged to show how they’d involve members of the public and patients in their project plans.

The deadline for applications is Monday 6 June 2022. The successful research projects will be announced in January 2023. You can visit here for more information.