One of the world’s leading orthopaedic-neuro vets has urged global drug companies to restart supplying the UK with a bone growth stimulator to help heal non-union fractures in dogs.
Noel Fitzpatrick, managing director of Fitzpatrick Referrals, was reacting to news US scientists have used a compression-resistant matrix (CRM), infused with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (BMP-2) to heal 11 dogs suffering non-union long bone fractures at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis).
Amy Kapatkin, head of the orthopaedic surgery service at UC Davis, and her team were following work using BMP-2 to regrow jawbones in US dogs.
Prof Fitzpatrick said his team had regularly performed similar work, but the supply of expensive BMP-2 in the UK ended last year due to insufficient take-up.
He said: “As far as I can gather, it’s not a safety issue, it’s purely financial. There’s no money in it, so they don’t supply it to the UK now.”
He said Fitzpatrick Referrals was offered, and bought, the final 40 units of BMP-2 available in the UK. “We used them all. We were probably using five per week at one point,” he said.
“I’ve asked several manufacturers why they don’t get a licence for BMP-2 (in the UK). I would actively encourage them to look at it, and we’d be first in line to buy it off them.”
Prof Fitzpatrick said the loss of BMP-2 had not stopped Fitzpatrick Referrals from treating non-union long bone fractures in UK dogs.
He said: “BMP-2 is not the only way to generate bone. We do limb fillers every week here so what Dr Kapatkin is doing with a scaffold with BMP-2 we do with a scaffold with sprayed stem cells. We take marrow from the patient, elutriate from that the stem cells and then spray it using a high speed hose into the scaffold. We’ve done six non-unions so far this year.”
Prof Fitzpatrick observed no one in veterinary medicine had, to this point, carried out a head-to-head study of the efficacy of stem cells versus human recombinant BMP-2. However, he suggested BMP-2 should be available for UK vets in the best interest of patients.
- Read the full story in the 19 June issue of Veterinary Times.