Pioneering soft bone cement treats fractures from osteoporosis

New innovative cement reduces the amount of spinal fractures for osteoporotic patients


Currently 50 per cent of women over the age of 50 and 25 per cent of men suffer from osteoporosis. This disease weakens the bone, and many affected by it will suffer bone fractures at some point in their lives. Osteoporotic fractures most commonly occur in the spine. Over 500,000 of these fractures occur every year in the EU alone,1 costing €1.8 billion every year.2

A bone cement can be injected to stabilise the fracture, and also provide pain relief. The cement that’s currently used was originally developed for another application and becomes too stiff and hard for the surrounding weak bone. This can lead to up to 40% new fractures in adjacent spinal bones. In severe cases these fractures can result in severe pain, disability and even death.1,3

Creating bone cement specially for osteoporotic fractures

The team at Uppsala University in Sweden have developed a softener which can be added to existing bone cement. This helps it adapt better to the surrounding bone, avoiding new and unnecessary fractures.

Using a multi-centre clinical trial, the project aims to show that softer cement will deliver the expected decrease in fractures. This procedure could not just benefit patients but also wider society, with the EU potentially saving up to €700 million a year.4

With EIT Health support, the project will be successfully brought to market

EIT Health supported the solution at an early stage with a proof-of-concept grant in 2017. In addition, the start-up bringing the cement softener to market has also received support from EIT Health’s Launch Lab the same year.

Uppsala University, a core partner of EIT Health, is leading the project. Other members of the consortium included five European hospitals who are all part of EIT Health’s network. Four of these hospitals are involved in the multi-centre study and one will undertake the first evaluation of the cement in a new application. Uppsala Innovation Centre will provide additional expertise in clinical trials, while the University’s Innovation Centre will deliver business coaching.

The clinical trial starts in 2020, with the study due to complete in two years. This will provide the start-up with a unique opportunity to access the market with a solution that will reduce the rate and cost of patients having to be hospitalised again with osteoporotic fractures.

External partners
  • Uppsala Lans Landsting
  • Uppsala Innovation Centre AB
  • Inossia AB

[1] Osteoporosis in the European Union: medical management, epidemiology and economic burden. Arch Osteoporos (2013) 8:136

[2] As above.

[3] Impact of Osteoporotic Fractures on Health-Related Quality-of-Life Measures, Svedborn A, Borgst. Compenium, Bone Health. Publisted Aug 28, 2018.

[4] As 1

Cecilia Persson
Dept. Engineering Sciences | Professor | Uppsala University
Malin Nilsson
| CEO | Inossia AB