TAmiRNA participates in research extending miRNA applications in bone disease

Scientists from biotech innovator TAmiRNA have contributed to two newly published research studies that extent potential applications of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in combating bone disease.

Together, the two studies provide valuable new evidence and suggestions for novel uses of circulating miRNAs in diagnosing a much wider range of bone disorders than just osteoporosis, such as diabetic bone disease.

Both studies include direct contributions from TAmiRNA’s CEO, Dr. Matthias Hackl, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Dr. Johannes Grillari, director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology in Vienna.  

Extending use of osteomiR® panel

The first study, lead authored by Dr. Katharina Kerschan-Schindl of the Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation & Occupational Medicine at Medical University of Vienna, is published in Calcified Tissue International. It examines the diagnostic performance of TAmiRNA’s osteomiR® panel of miRNAs for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, concluding that it forms a set of 19 emerging bone biomarkers that could which be used as ‘fingerprints’ for osteoporosis as well as identifying individuals with enhanced risk of bone fractures.

The study sets out the answer, whether osteoporotic fractures or low BMD phenotypes independently contribute to the changes in serum levels that drive osteomiR® diagnostic applications. It characterizes the abundance, sensitivity to hemolysis, and correlation of osteomiR® serum levels, using these observations to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of osteomiRs® for osteoporosis according to WHO criteria and based on major osteoporotic fracture history among a panel of 100 postmenopausal women with and without osteoporotic conditions.

This study concluded that the osteomiR® panel not only provided bone biomarkers for osteoporosis but also was also valuable in identifying individuals with a history of fractures. It pointed to high serum levels of miR-375 as a particularly significant biomarker of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, as well as highlighting upregulation of miR-203a as a diagnostic marker for fragility fractures.

Circulating miRNAs in bone disease

The second study, Circulating miRNAs in bone health and disease, is a review of current evidence for circulating miRNAs as non-invasive biomarker candidates for diagnostic, prognostic, or predictive osteology applications, their mechanisms in controlling bone metabolism and cell-to-cell communication in the bone niche and existing standards for analysis and documentation.

The review, published in the special issue on miRNAs in Bone Research in Bone in the journal Bone, is lead authored by Dr. Johannes Grillari, heading a seven strong team representing TAmiRNA and leading teaching hospitals and research institutions from Austria, Finland and the UK. It outlines the molecular basics of miRNA function and release, and makes recommendations for best pre-analytical practices and documentation standards for circulating miRNA research to ensure high quality data and reproducibility of results. The study also reviews how the genesis of bone-derived circulating miRNAs via release from osteoblasts and osteoclasts could contribute to inter-cellular communication between those cells and points to the most useful evidence for clinical use of miRNAs as biomarkers in musculoskeletal disorders.

Significantly, the review extends potential applications of miRNAs beyond diagnosis of primary osteoporosis into monitoring anti-osteoporotic treatment and diagnosing other types of bone diseases, such as diabetic osteopathy, bone degradation in inflammatory diseases, and monogenetic bone diseases.


Click on Diagnostic Performance of a Panel of miRNAs (OsteomiR) for Osteoporosis in a Cohort of Postmenopausal Women to view study by K. Kershan-Schindl et al.

Click on Circulating miRNAs in bone health and disease to view study by J. Grillari et al.

About TAmiRNA

TAmiRNA specializes in technologies for profiling levels of blood-circulating miRNAs and developing multi-parametric classification algorithms (“signatures”). TAmiRNA uses these technologies to develop minimal-invasive diagnostic tests for drug development, early diagnosis and prognosis of disease, and as companion diagnostic tests to support treatment decisions. For its work on circulating microRNAs in bone disease, TAmiRNA is receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE grant agreement no. 860898.

More information available at: www.tamirna.com.


Elisabeth Semmelrock, PhD
Scientific Writer
TAmiRNA - Stability for Life
Leberstrasse 20 | 1110 Vienna | Austria
T: +43 1 391 33 22 90
E: elisabeth.semmelrock(at)tamirna.com

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