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Amgen osteoporosis drug effective in study

(Reuters) - An Amgen Inc drug to treat osteoporosis in women increased bone mineral density (BMD), an important determinant of bone strength, the biotechnology company said.

Results of the Phase 2 study extension showed that for post-menopausal women with low bone mass, or osteoporosis, who received up to eight years of continued treatment with Prolia (denosumab), bone mineral density increased on average 16.8 percent at the lumbar spine and 6.9 percent in the total hip, Amgen said.

Prolia is the first approved therapy that specifically targets an essential regulator of osteoclasts, the cells that break down the cells that break down bone.

Osteoporosis is a global problem that is increasing in significance as the population of the world ages. The World Health Organization has declared osteoporosis a public health crisis.

(Reporting by Nick Zieminski, Editing by Maureen Bavdek)