Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

RVC collaborates with UCB on bone overgrowth research
"It is an incredible opportunity to advance our understanding of this ultra-rare bone disease" - Dr Tim Dreyer.

The project will explore Sclerosteosis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is collaborating with the biopharmaceutical company UCB to research diseases of excessive bone formation.

In a new multi-year research project, the organisations will investigate therapeutic options and mechanisms of disease progression in two severe bone diseases characterised by bone overgrowth - sclerosteosis, and the inflammatory condition ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr Scott Roberts, senior lecturer in translational skeletal research at the RVC, said: “I am excited to be working closely with UCB and RVC colleagues to investigate why pathological bone is formed in ankylosing spondylitis and how excessive bone formation can be controlled in sclerosteosis. 

“This research interaction will allow us to further our understanding of these specific diseases, with our accrued knowledge also likely to be applicable to other conditions of altered bone metabolism.”

Sclerosteosis is an ultra-rare genetic bone disease, in which patients experience widespread bone overgrowth as a result of the loss of sclerostin expression. The overgrowth of bone can result in severe, and even fatal, pressure on the brain due to increases in skull thickness. This can only be resolved temporarily through major surgery.

Ankylosing spondylitis patients also experience bone overgrowth, occurring most commonly in the spine. This overgrowth can lead to pain, bone fusion and deformity. The major change of structural tissue damage can result in permanent disability. 

Over the course of three years, the team of researchers led by Dr Scott Roberts, will test potential new therapeutic options in preclinical models for sclerosteosis. Whilst ankylosing spondylitis already has approved therapeutics, the team will be researching why this bone forms using specialised disease models via human stem cells. 

Dr Tim Dreyer, postdoctoral researcher and sclerosteosis patient, commented on the new collaboration: “As a patient myself, I am thrilled to be part of a collaboration that aims to potentially develop a therapeutic for Sclerosteosis. 

“It is an incredible opportunity to advance our understanding of this ultra-rare bone disease, whilst providing hope for a small group of patients and their families.”

Senior vice president and head of discovery science at UCB, Dr Alistair Henry, added: “We are delighted to partner with the RVC on this important project to better understand disease progression in these two conditions. 

“Although very different diseases, both conditions have a painful and progressive impact on those living with them and we hope this project may pave the way for treatment to improve people’s lives.”

 

Image (C) Royal Veterinary College

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on minsmere@rspb.org.uk outside of these times."  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit moredun.org.uk