Because there are currently no available pharmacological treatments, there is a significant unmet need for medications that can stimulate bone healing. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the first bone anabolic drug approved for the treatment of osteoporosis, and intriguingly a number of animal studies suggest that PTH could be beneficial in the treatment of fractures and could thus be a potentially new treatment option for induction of bone healing.
Non-union of fractures occur when the normal process of bone healing is interrupted and the fracture does not heal properly or does not heal at all. Non-union of bones is a serious complication of a fracture and may occur when the fracture moves too much, has a poor blood supply or gets infected. The most common reported risk factor is an open fracture. A non-union will not heal if left alone. Therefore the patient's symptoms will not improve and the function of the limb will remain impaired. It will be painful to bear weight on the affected area and it may be deformed or unstable.
The current treatment for non-union is only operative and there are no medications available to accelerate bone healing. The idea of offering PTH 1-34 which is a bone building hormone, will help to reduce the amount of non-unions occurring each year and can help in the bone healing process for people who suffer from non-union. This will lead to less secondary surgeries and possibly help decrease the amount of sick time due to the faster healing time.