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Bone fragility: a novel HUG detection test marketed & More Breaking News

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GenevaBone fragility: an unprecedented HUG detection test put on the market

A new approach to assess bone quality, developed by the Cantonal Hospital and the University, has received approval for marketing in Europe and Switzerland.

The HUG and Uni test is based on a blood sample.  (Pretext image)

The HUG and Uni test is based on a blood sample. (Pretext image)

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It is a major public health problem. Bone fragility can be better detected thanks to a new device, developed by the University Hospitals (HUG) and the University of Geneva (Unige). This new test received the “CE” label last June, paving the way for it to be marketed in the European Economic Area and in Switzerland, the HUG said in a press release. This fragility of the bones is mainly due to osteoporosis, while type 2 diabetes increases the risk of fracture by approximately two.

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blood drawn

The technology developed by HUG and Unige makes it possible to measure the quality of bones by means of a blood sample. A process that is more precise than densitometry, the imaging technique currently used. This is indeed biased in the case of type 2 diabetes. “Our diagnosis will allow researchers and pharmaceutical companies involved in the development of new treatments against osteoporosis to obtain precise, specific and quantitative measurements the effect of their pilot products,” explains Serge Ferrari, head of the Bone Diseases Department at HUG, professor at the Faculty of Medicine and co-inventor with Nicolas Bonnet, privat-docent at the Faculty of Medicine.

“Not frequent” for a public hospital

The first patent was filed in 2016 and a company based in Northern Ireland, ProAxsis Ltd, licensed it in 2021. “It is not often that a product developed in a university hospital is marketed, welcomes Serge Ferrari. And even less in such a short time! We owe this to the excellent collaboration with our partners.”

Almost one in three Swiss

Osteoporosis affects 30% of people in Switzerland, while type 2 diabetes affects 10%, according to the HUG. With the aging of the population, osteoporosis and fractures due to the fragility of bones should increase: in Switzerland, the latter should increase from 82,000 per year currently to 105,000 in 25 years. Bone fragility must be diagnosed before the fracture which, depending on the age and the bone concerned, can cause intense chronic pain, or even increase the risk of mortality.

(leo)

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