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Physical frailty and sarcopenia (PF&S): a point of view from the industry

Del Signore, Susanna and Roubenoff, Ronenn (2017) Physical frailty and sarcopenia (PF&S): a point of view from the industry. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, Epub a. pp. 1-6. ISSN 17208319


We have observed over the last 15 years a wide debate both in the medical scientific community and in the public health arena on the definition and operationalization of frailty, typically a geriatric condition, and in particular of physical frailty linked to sarcopenia. Because physical frailty in its initial phase can still be reversed, fighting sarcopenia in elderly persons has the potential to slow or halt progressive decline towards disability and dependency. Quite recently, regulators focused attention on frailty as an indicator of biological age to be measured to characterize elderly patients before their inclusion in clinical trials. A European guidance regarding most adapted evaluation instruments of frailty is currently under public consultation. Does the regulatory initiative imply we should now consider frailty, and particularly physical frailty, primarily as an important risk factor for adverse events and poor response, or mainly as a clinical tool helping the physician to opt for one therapeutic pathway or another? Or is physical frailty above all a specific geriatric condition deserving an effective and innovative therapeutic approach with the objective to curb the incidence of its most common result, e.g., mobility disability? Pharmaceutical industry developers consider both faces of the coin very relevant. We agree with regulators that better characterization of subpopulations, not only in elderly patients, can improve the benefit risk ratio of medicines. At the same time, we believe it is in the public health interest to develop novel drugs indicated for specific geriatric conditions, like osteoporosis in the 1990s and sarcopenia today. We consider it an important therapeutic goal to effectively delay mobility disability and to extend the active, independent, and healthy life years of aging people. The “Sarcopenia and Physical fRailty IN older people: multi-componenT Treatment strategies” (SPRINTT) collaborative project under IMI is paving the way for adapted methodologies to study the change of physical frailty and sarcopenia in at-risk older persons and to adequately characterize the population that needs to be treated.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Active and healthy life Aging Frailty Geriatrics Sarcopenia
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 00:45
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 00:45


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