SOURCE: Soft Bones, Inc.

Soft Bones, Inc.

March 28, 2016 09:06 ET

Soft Bones, Inc. Awards Its Third Grant to the Ohio State University Researcher to Promote Work in Hypophosphatasia

BOONTON, NJ--(Marketwired - Mar 28, 2016) - Soft Bones, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing information, education, and support to those affected by hypophosphatasia (HPP), is pleased to award its third annual Maher Family Grant to Brian L. Foster, PhD, of The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, OH, based on his standout proposal for new scientific approaches to understanding how therapies for this rare disease might help prevent and repair HPP-associated skeletal and dental problems.

The Scientific Advisory Board for Soft Bones unanimously recommended Dr. Foster as the winner of the grant after thoroughly examining the worthy proposals of multiple applicants from esteemed institutions across the United States, citing that a strong factor in their decision was his idea to use experimental HPP mouse models to expand knowledge concerning how HPP long term affects bones and teeth, and to learn more about how therapeutic approaches for HPP might impact dental tissues.

"New insights to improve our understanding of HPP-associated dental disease and how it might progresses are needed. Dr. Foster clearly understands this, and will study the need to create new experimental mouse models of HPP that vary in the severity of their dental disease. This should provide a foundation for better therapeutic approaches for HPP patients," said Michael Whyte, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine and Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, MO, and chairman of the Soft Bones Advisory Board. "We hope that seed grant support from Soft Bones will enable Dr. Foster to begin a long-term commitment to hypophosphatasia investigation."

Dr. Foster is an Assistant Professor in the Biosciences Division of the College of Dentistry at OSU. He earned a PhD in Oral Biology from the University of Washington in Seattle. His research focuses on the biology of tooth development, formation, and function.

Dr. Foster plans to use the seed grant money to study experimental mouse models for HPP at his OSU laboratory to understand how timing of therapy affects formation and retention of teeth in HPP.

"I wanted to work on something that provided a good representation of severe infantile hypophosphatasia. With HPP, there is such a wide range of problems that patients can experience and a lot of variability in how the disease affects dental tissues, yet so little foundational research has been done," said Dr. Foster. "I am honored and thrilled to receive this grant, which will help advance studies on therapies for hypophosphatasia. Studies like these will help the research community gain new insights that have the potential to accelerate future studies on treatments for HPP."

This is the third research grant Soft Bones has awarded since its founding in 2008. More information about hypophosphatasia and existing research can be found at

Hypophosphatasia is an inherited, ultra-rare, metabolic (chemical) bone disease of broad-ranging severity that causes life-threatening disease in approximately one per 100,000 live births. Depending on the severity of the skeletal disease, symptoms can include deformity of the limbs and chest, pneumonia, and recurrent fractures. While there is currently no cure for hypophosphatasia, treatment is directed towards preventing or correcting the symptoms or complications.

Soft Bones was founded in 2009 to provide information and to establish a forum to educate, empower, and connect patients living with hypophosphatasia, their families, and caregivers. The Foundation also promotes research of rare bone disease through awareness and fundraising efforts. Under the leadership of Deborah Nettune Sittig, Soft Bones has raised awareness around the world, including advocating for the disease to receive the policy recognition and research funding it deserves, by bringing attention to children affected by hypophosphatasia around the globe.

Contact Information

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    Soft Bones, Inc.
    Denise Goodbar
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