A Mouse Model for Osteoporosis

Introduction Osteoporosis, an age-related disease in which loss of bone mass causes skeletal deformities and fractures, affects nearly 20 million people in the US, mostly women. A major complication is a fracture of the thigh bone, in which case 20-30% of patients die in the year following the fracture. Half of the survivors remain disabled to some degree. Development of new therapies for this disease requires the appropriate animal model, one of which is described here. Technology description Scientists at the UW generated a transgenic mouse in which the cytokine interleukin-4 (IL- 4) gene was fused to the lck lymphocyte-specific promoter resulting in the overproduction of IL-4 by T cells in the thymus. These mice develop severe progressive osteoporosis that closely resembles human osteoporosis. Business opportunity Costs related to management of osteoporotic fractures are estimated to be $10-15 billion annually. The global osteoporosis therapies market, including estrogen replacement therapy drugs, was estimated at $5.5 billion in 2001 and projected to double by 2008 in the face of population aging and increased awareness of osteoporosis. Stage of development The transgenic mouse line is established and available. Intellectual property position US 5,714,146, filed 4/7/95 and issued 2/3/98. Publications Lewis et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1993, 90:11618-11622 For more information on this technology contact:
Bolong Cao, Ph.D. Licensing Officer, Invention Licensing bolongc@u.washington.edu 206-543-3970

Type of Offer: Licensing

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