Oral salmon calcitonin--pharmacology in osteoporosis

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2010 Nov;10(11):1617-29. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2010.526104. Epub 2010 Oct 11.


Importance of the field: Osteoporosis is a slow progressive disease with develops over decades, and where intervention is needed for an extended number of years. This highlights the need for safe intervention possibilities, which have sustained beneficial effects post-treatment.

Areas covered in this review: Articles on salmon calcitonin appearing on Pubmed from 1960 until today, with focus on a newly developed oral formulation showing increased exposure and efficacy compared with nasal formulation is reviewed. The second half focuses on long-term phenomena, such as bone quality and resolution effects. The final part discusses potential additional benefits of salmon calcitonin.

What the reader will gain: Insight into the clinical development of an orally formulated peptide, as well as a detailed understanding of why this approach could revive salmon calcitonin as a treatment for osteoporosis.

Take home message: The oral formulation of salmon calcitonin provides additional benefits and increased efficacy on bone based on Phase I and II clinical trials data, as compared with the nasal formulation. Hence, the results on the ongoing Phase III fracture trial are awaited with great interest.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00486434 NCT00525798 NCT00704847.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Amino Acids / administration & dosage
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control
  • Calcitonin / administration & dosage*
  • Calcitonin / pharmacokinetics
  • Calcitonin / therapeutic use
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Carriers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Calcitonin / drug effects


  • Amino Acids
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Receptors, Calcitonin
  • salmon calcitonin
  • Calcitonin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00486434
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00525798
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00704847