The FDA approved Tymlos (Abaloparatide) in June for use in women diagnosed with osteoporosis. Unfortunately most patients are unlikely to obtain insurance coverage for Tymlos until January or February 2018.
Tymlos is an anabolic, which means that it can stimulate osteoblasts, the cells that make new bone matrix. Until now only Forteo (Teriparatide) has been available to do that. Having a second option will be helpful.
Tymlos is similar to Forteo, yet there are distinct differences. Tymlos is almost pure osteoblast stimulation which means that BMD rises faster in areas with cortical bone, such as the hip. This potentially makes it a better choice for women never exposed to antiresorptive bisphosphonates like Fosamax (Alendronate), Actonel (Risedronate), Boniva (Ibandronate), and Reclast.
Tymlos is a daily shot (like insulin), but does not require refrigeration. It is approved for up to 24 months use and must be followed by an antiresorptive in order to not lose the benefits gained.
Patients with a single fracture of hip, or multiple fractures of other bones including spine, or with a BMD well below -2.5, or a FRAX score well above 20%and 3.0%, should be considered for an anabolic. Now we have another choice available.
For now Tymlos is approved for women only and osteoporosis only. We look forward to the FDA adding men and other indications in coming years.
Meanwhile, we wait for insurance coverage to make it affordable.
Jay Ginther, MD