Denosumab, a fully human RANKL antibody, reduced bone turnover markers and increased trabecular and cortical bone mass, density, and strength in ovariectomized cynomolgus monkeys.Bone. 2011 Aug; 49(2):162-73.BONE
Denosumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits RANKL, a protein essential for osteoclast formation, function, and survival. Osteoclast inhibition with denosumab decreased bone resorption, increased bone mineral density (BMD), and reduced fracture risk in osteoporotic women. The effects of 16months of continuous osteoclast inhibition on bone strength parameters were examined in adult ovariectomized (OVX) cynomolgus monkeys (cynos). One month after surgery, OVX cynos (n=14-20/group) were treated monthly with subcutaneous vehicle (OVX-Veh) or denosumab (25 or 50mg/kg). Sham-operated controls were treated with vehicle (n=17). OVX-Veh exhibited early and persistent increases in the resorption marker CTx, followed by similar increases in the formation marker BSAP, consistent with increased bone remodeling. Denosumab reduced CTx and BSAP throughout the study to levels significantly lower than in OVX-Veh or Sham-Veh, consistent with reduced remodeling. Increased remodeling in OVX-Veh led to absolute declines in areal BMD of 4.3-7.4% at the lumbar spine, total hip, femur neck, and distal radius (all p<0.05 vs baseline). Denosumab significantly increased aBMD at each site to levels exceeding baseline or OVX-Veh controls, and denosumab significantly increased cortical vBMC of the central radius and tibia by 7% and 14% (respectively) relative to OVX-Veh. Destructive biomechanical testing revealed that both doses of denosumab were associated with significantly greater peak load for femur neck (+19-34%), L3-L4 vertebral bodies (+54-55%), and L5-L6 cancellous cores (+69-82%) compared with OVX-Veh. Direct assessment of bone tissue material properties at cortical sites revealed no significant changes with denosumab. For all sites analyzed biomechanically, bone mass (BMC) and strength (load) exhibited strong linear correlations (r(2)=0.59-0.85 for all groups combined). Denosumab did not alter slopes of load-BMC regressions at any site, and denosumab groups exhibited similar or greater load values at given BMC values compared with OVX-Veh or Sham. In summary, denosumab markedly reduced biochemical markers of bone remodeling and increased cortical and trabecular bone mass in adult OVX cynos. Denosumab improved structural bone strength parameters at all sites analyzed, and strength remained highly correlated with bone mass. There was no evidence for reduced material strength properties of cortical bone with denosumab over this time period, which approximates to 4years of remodeling in the slower-remodeling adult human skeleton. These data indicate that denosumab increased bone strength by increasing bone mass and preserving bone quality.