Modeling-Based Bone Formation After 2 Months of Romosozumab Treatment: Results From the FRAME Clinical Trial

J Bone Miner Res. 2022 Jan;37(1):36-40. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.4457. Epub 2021 Nov 19.


The bone-forming agent romosozumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits sclerostin, leading to increased bone formation and decreased resorption. The highest levels of bone formation markers in human patients are observed in the first 2 months of treatment. Histomorphometric analysis of bone biopsies from the phase 3 FRAME trial (NCT01575834) showed an early significant increase in bone formation with concomitant decreased resorption. Preclinical studies demonstrated that most new bone formation after romosozumab treatment was modeling-based bone formation (MBBF). Here we analyzed bone biopsies from FRAME to assess the effect of 2 months of romosozumab versus placebo on the surface extent of MBBF and remodeling-based bone formation (RBBF). In FRAME, postmenopausal women aged ≥55 years with osteoporosis were randomized 1:1 to 210 mg romosozumab or placebo sc every month for 12 months, followed by 60 mg denosumab sc every 6 months for 12 months. Participants in the bone biopsy substudy received quadruple tetracycline labeling and underwent transiliac biopsies at month 2. A total of 29 biopsies were suitable for histomorphometry. Using fluorescence microscopy, bone formation at cancellous, endocortical, and periosteal envelopes was classified based on the appearance of underlying cement lines as modeling (smooth) or remodeling (scalloped). Data were compared using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, without multiplicity adjustment. After 2 months, the median percentage of MBBF referent to the total bone surface was significantly increased with romosozumab versus placebo on cancellous (18.0% versus 3.8%; p = 0.005) and endocortical (36.7% versus 3.0%; p = 0.001), but not on periosteal (5.0% versus 2.0%; p = 0.37) surfaces, with no significant difference in the surface extent of RBBF on all three bone surfaces. These data show that stimulation of bone formation in the first 2 months of romosozumab treatment in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis is predominately due to increased MBBF on endocortical and cancellous surfaces. © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).


Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteogenesis
  • Osteoporosis* / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal* / drug therapy


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • romosozumab

Associated data