Once-yearly osteoporosis drug proves promising

A new study finds a once-yearly treatment with Novartis' zoledronic acid, a drug already approved for Paget's disease, could offer an alternative for women suffering from postmenopausal osteoporosis. Results from the study of 7,700 women show zoledronic acid reduced the frequency of fractures among the areas of the body that are typically affected by osteoporosis, including the hip, spine and wrist. The drug is under review by the FDA for this indication and will be marketed under the name Reclast.

Other drugs currently on the market for bone fractures--such as Actonel, Fosamax and Boniva--are taken weekly, monthly or every three months. Many women have trouble taking the drugs, skip doses or stop the treatment entirely, thus compromising the drugs' ability to protect against osteoporosis. Reclast is administered in a 15 minute infusion once a year, making it easier for patients to stick with the treatment.

- see the release on Reclast
- read this L.A. Times piece for more