A European research network, ATPBone, headed by Professor Peter Schwarz and senior research scientist Niklas Rye Jørgensen of the recently inaugurated Research Centre for Aging and Osteoporosis at Glostrup Hospital, Copenhagen, has received DKK 22.5 m (USD 4.3 m) from the EU Seventh Framework Programme for a three year project.
ATPBone comprises research scientists from Denmark, Belgium, Holland, UK and Italy. The focus of the study will be bone formation and degeneration, with the aim of developing a new type of pharmaceutical treatment that strengthens bones by rebuilding bone tissue.
Niklas Rye Jørgensen says: "In all human beings there is continuous degeneration and formation of bone tissue. From 30 years of age, more degeneration than formation occurs, and the bone loss in many humans is so great that they will suffer from osteoporosis. We are now going to investigate how, via protein binding, ATP* regulates formation and degeneration of bone."
Professor Peter Schwarz comments: "Today we can treat patients to stop the degeneration of bone, but there is only one drug, and it is not everybody who can use it. So it is important to develop new methods."
The project participants have previously taken part in discovering ATP's importance for bone formation. The news was reported by Ritzau and in a press release on sundhed.dk.
* Adenosine 5-triphosphate, an important carrier of chemical energy for metabolism in living systems – Ed.