Monoclonal Antibody Fragments for Targeting Therapeutics to Growth Plate Cartilage

A child's growth is dependent on the proper functioning of the growth plate, a specialized cartilage structure located at the ends of long bones and within the vertebrae. The primary function of the growth plate is to generate new cartilage, which is then converted into bone tissue and results in the lengthening of bones. Current treatments for severe short stature and skeletal growth disorders are limited. Recombinant human growth hormone (GH) is typically used but the results are less than optimal and have potential adverse effects. The instant invention discloses that monoclonal antibodies that bind to matrilin-3, a protein specifically expressed in cartilage tissue, could be used for treating or inhibiting growth plate disorders, such as a skeletal dysplasia or short stature.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • A new treatment option for growth plate disorders, such as skeletal dysplasia or short stature.
  • Avoidance of the risks associated with systemic treatment using growth hormone, such as increased intracranial pressure, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, insulin resistance, and possibly type II diabetes.

Jeffrey Baron (NICHD)
Sao Fong (Crystal) Cheung (NICHD)
Chun Kin Julian Lui (NICHD)
Dimiter Dimitrov (NCI)
Zhongyu Zhu (NCI)

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 61/927,904

Collaboration Opportunity:

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Cancer Institute are seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize treatment of skeletal disorders and short stature to increase growth using targeting antibodies. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Joseph Conrad III, Ph.D. at To view the NICHD collaborative opportunity announcement, click here.

Licensing Contact:
Betty Tong , Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
Phone: 301-594-6565

OTT Reference No: E-003-2014/0

Updated: Apr-15-2014