Research ArticleBONE HEALING

A BMP/activin A chimera is superior to native BMPs and induces bone repair in nonhuman primates when delivered in a composite matrix

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Science Translational Medicine  24 Apr 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 489, eaar4953
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar4953

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Building better bone

Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) can promote superior bone growth compared to autograft, historically considered the “gold standard” for bone repair; however, supraphysiologic concentrations of BMP are typically required. Seeherman et al. developed chimeric BMPs with improved potency and an optimized carrier matrix. Chimeras based on BMP-2 were engineered to express BMP-6 and activin A receptor binding domains, which improved binding affinity and activated BMP target genes in cells and resulted in greater bone formation in rats. Complete bone healing was observed in nonhuman primate models of open fracture using composite carrier to deliver concentrations of chimeric BMP that were lower than those approved for clinical use. This study systematically identifies an optimized BMP chimera and carrier combination with promising potential for bone healing.