Diagnosis and treatment of heterotopic ossification: patent nº EP 23382063

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) is the presence of mature lamellar bone in extra-skeletal soft tissues. According to its aetiology, HO can be classified as genetic or acquired. Among the acquired variants, Neurogenic HO (NHO) stands out due to its high incidence.

NHO is the most frequent complication of suffering a nervous insult, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, and a peripheral injury, such as a long bone fracture. The pathophysiology of NHO remains unknown. Nonetheless, it has been hypothesized that the humoral neuroimmunological factors released by the brain and the peripheral nervous system could play a critical role in NHO’s developing.

Even though the high incidence of this pathology, its diagnosis is based on unspecific clinical symptoms (e.g., pain, swelling, movement limitations, etc) and signs (e.g., evidence of ectopic bone formation by X-ray) once the pathology has been developed. Additionally, the current therapies used for its management have low-effective rates, some of them are highly aggressive and associated with side effects and complications. 

In this patent, we aimed to prevent NHO by identifying new biomarkers that can predict its appearance, and to develop new therapeutical approaches to decrease the levels of the identified biomarkers. Accordingly, we identified a biomarker potentially involved in NHO pathophysiology. Moreover, we are focusing on the developing of new therapies to target this biomarker.

Morphological changes induced by neurogenic factors in pre-osteoblastic cells. 

Patent description

To determine new biomarkers to predict NHO, and to develop new therapies to target the identified biomarkers to decrease NHO’s incidence.



– NHO prevention through the identification of new biomarkers from the sera of patients at risk of developing the disease.

– NHO preventive treatment


The patent license application period is currently open for those interested in its commercial exploitation. The ownership of this patent belongs to the Servizo Galego de Saúde (SERGAS), the Health Research Institute Foundation of Santiago de Compostela (FIDIS), and the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC).  


Mabel Sampedro Parada
+34 981 951 195 (ext. 251 195)