New Screening Tool for Osteoporosis.

10 March 2014   Seroba Kernel’s investee company, Crescent Diagnostics Ltd (“Crescent”), has launched Osentia™, a new convenient screening test which identifies those at risk of fragility fracture by analysing finger or toe nail clippings.

Launching in the UK, Osentia™ is available online and will shortly be available direct from pharmacies. The test enables consumers to identify their level of risk of suffering a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis. Using this information, consumers can initiate long term lifestyle changes and access appropriate therapeutic intervention, which can help avoid serious osteoporosis-related fractures in later life.

Osentia™ will be available from the Osentia website at www.osentia.co.uk retailing at £49.99.

With more than 30 million people at risk of the disease in the EU, early identification is important. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, and more likely to fracture.  People are often unaware of the condition of their bones, as the disease displays no symptoms. As the bones affected are most frequently the wrist, spine or hip bones, any fracture can lead to considerable pain, surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation. According to the UK’s National Osteoporosis Society, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone, mainly due to poor bone health. In the UK, almost three million people are estimated to have osteoporosis, costing the NHS £2.3 billion a year.

The Osentia™ screening process measures the protein keratin in nail clippings, which is used as a surrogate biomarker for collagen, a key indicator of bone strength. Keratin abnormality can indicate a risk of developing osteoporosis.

Having purchased the test, customers send a nail clipping to Crescent’s laboratory where it is analysed. The customer’s result will be presented as one of three risk profiles; green, amber or red.

A green result indicates a low risk of suffering a fragility fracture, but a retest within two years is recommended. An amber result indicates a moderate risk of suffering a fragility fracture. In this instance it is recommended that the consumer should increase their consumption of cheese and milk in their diet, avoid smoking and drinking, increase their level of weight-bearing exercise and consider adding calcium and vitamin D supplements to their diet to promote and maintain healthy bones. A red result is indicative of a high risk of fracture and those in this category are advised to visit their GP for a consultation and assessment.

In addition to the Osentia™ test, customers will also complete a lifestyle questionnaire, which is used to more fully assess their risk of fragility fracture.

Professor Tim Spector of Kings College London, said: “People are often unaware that they have fragile bones until the time of a first fracture. Broken wrists, hips and vertebrae are the most common fractures in people with osteoporosis and, while much more widespread in older age, younger people can sometimes be affected. This means that there is a significant need for early and increased awareness of osteoporosis in society. By making changes to lifestyle, well before fractures occur, those at risk of fractures caused by fragile bones can significantly reduce their risk.”

Brendan Farrell, CEO of Crescent Diagnostics, said: “Osteoporosis is a growing health issue exacerbated by an ageing population. Osentia provides a rapid, inexpensive, convenient and effective way of ensuring customers know and understand their risk of developing a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis, and how to better manage their lifestyle to prevent its onset.”

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For further information, please contact:
Vicky La Touche-Price
Seroba Kernel Life Sciences
+353 1 6334028

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