Our aim was to evaluate the effect of local simvastatin on the formation of new bone using a new design of periosteal distractor. The distractors were placed between the periosteum and bone at the inferior border of the mandible of 20 New Zealand rabbits. In the first group (n = 10) simvastatin was applied locally to the distraction zone. The other 10 rabbits served as controls. The formation of new bone was evaluated with digital direct radiography, computed tomography (CT), and histomorphometric analyses. New bone formed in all rabbits, but more formed in the experimental group according to histomorphometric variables. However, other measurements did not differ significantly between the groups. The new design of the periosteal distraction device was successful in causing new bone to form. Local simvastatin made no significant contribution to the procedure. (C) 2015 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.