Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pilot Study Drug Controls Blood Sugar in People with HI | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The standard treatment for some forms of congenital HI is diazoxide (right structure), a drug that controls insulin secretion by opening potassium channels in beta cells. However, this drug does not work in the most common types of HI, in which mutations prevent these potassium channels from forming.                                       
A pilot study in adolescents and adults has found that an investigational drug (Exendin 9-39) (see below structure) shows promise as the first potential medical treatment for children with the severest type of congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare but potentially devastating disease in which gene mutations cause insulin levels to become dangerously high.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hint of tafamidis benefit in rare polyneuropathy

The results of a randomized trial suggest that tafamidis treatment may slow the progression of early-stage V30M transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

During 18 months of treatment, 45.3% of the 65 patients given tafamidis (see structure) 20 mg/day worsened by less than 2 points on the Neuropathy Impairment Score-Lower Limbs (NIS-LL). The rate among 63 placebo-treated patients was 29.5%, which was a nonsignificant difference. 

The Norfolk Quality of Life-Diabetic Neuropathy total score (TQOL) worsened by 2.0 points in the tafamidis group, compared with 7.2 points in the placebo group - also a nonsignificant difference.

But this analysis was based on the intent-to-treat population. A higher than anticipated dropout rate, caused by patients requiring liver transplantation, meant that just 87 of the original 125 patients actually completed the treatment.

In this group, 60.0% versus 38.1% of those treated with tafamidis and placebo had a less than 2-point deterioration on the NIS-LL, and TQOL scores worsened by a corresponding 0.1 versus 8.9..... 

Hint of tafamidis benefit in rare polyneuropathy

Friday, September 28, 2012

Developing the First Novel Drug Regimen from TB Alliance...

TB Alliance’s push to test new drugs in combination has been done to produce a regimen that not only would be faster and easier for patients, but also would tackle two other challenges as a major step in stopping the spread of drug-resistant TB—the complexity and high cost of treatment. This promising regimen eliminates the use of injectables and projects to reduce the cost of MDR-TB therapy by as much as 90 percent.

The study, NC-001, or New Combination 1, was a two-week trial successfully completed at two centers in South Africa. It involved the new combination therapy called PaMZ, consisting of the novel TB drug candidate, PA-824 (see below structure left); moxifloxacin (right structure), an established antibiotic not yet approved for use in first-line TB therapy and being developed in partnership with Bayer Healthcare AG; and pyrazinamide, an existing TB drug.

“Treating drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB with the same regimen can simplify the delivery of TB treatment worldwide,” said Andreas Diacon, MD, the trial’s principal investigator and lead author of the Lancet study. “The results of this study give healthcare providers on the front lines of the TB epidemic hope for better, faster tools needed to stop this disease.”

Newscenter | Global Alliance for TB Drug Development

Chemical makes blind mice see; compound holds promise for treating humans

The chemical, called AAQ (see below structure,   acrylamide- azobenzene - quaternary ammonium),  acts   by taking the remaining, normally "blind" cells in the retina  sensitive to  light,  said  lead  researcher  Richard Kramer, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology.   AAQ is a photoswitch that binds to protein ion channels on the surface of retinal cells. When switched on by light, AAQ alters the flow of ions through the channels and activates these neurons much the way rods and cones are activated by light.

The blind mice in the experiment had genetic mutations that made their rods and cones die within months of birth and inactivated other photopigments in the eye. After injecting very small amounts of AAQ into the eyes of the blind mice, Kramer and his colleagues confirmed that they had restored light sensitivity because the mice's pupils contracted in bright light, and the mice showed light avoidance, a typical rodent behavior impossible without the animals being able to see some light. Kramer is hoping to conduct more sophisticated vision tests in rodents injected with the next generation of the compound.

Because the chemical eventually wears off, it may offer a safer alternative to other experimental approaches for restoring sight, such as gene or stem cell therapies, which permanently change the retina. It is also less invasive than implanting light-sensitive electronic chips in the eye.

"The advantage of this approach is that it is a simple chemical, which means that you can change the dosage, you can use it in combination with other therapies, or you can discontinue the therapy if you don't like the results. As improved chemicals become available, you could offer them to patients. You can't do that when you surgically implant a chip or after you genetically modify somebody," Kramer said........... 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Antidepressant Sertraline Provides a Promising Therapeutic Option for Neurotropic Cryptococcal Infections

New research conducted by biologists at Texas A&M University suggests that sertraline (see structure below, ZOLOFT®), one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world, also packs a potential preventative bonus  potent mechanisms capable of inhibiting deadly fungal infections. 

C. neoformans is a potentially dangerous fungal pathogen found in many soils throughout the world that may cause systemic infections, particularly involving the central nervous system. In most cases, the microscopic, airborne fungal cells of C. neoformans cause asymptomatic colonization in the lungs. However, Lin says the fungus is particularly aggressive in people with weakened immune systems and can spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain and spinal cord, resulting in cryptococcal meningitis  a condition that, in absence of treatment, is fatal. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rapamycin effective in mouse model of inherited heart disease and muscular dystrophies

In continuation of my update on Rapamycin (Sirolimus)...

Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug used in a variety of disease indications and under study in aging research labs around the world, improved function and extended survival in mice suffering from a genetic mutation which leads to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and rare muscular dystrophies in humans. There are currently no effective treatments for the diseases, which include Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. The familial form of DCM often leads to sudden heart failure and death when those affected reach their 40s and 50s.

Scientists from the Buck Institute and other organizations focused on mutations in the gene LMNA, which produces A-type lamins. Mutations in this gene are associated with at least 13 diseases, with DCM among the most common. DCM accounts for 60 percent of all cardiomyopathy cases. LMNA mutations may account for up to one-third of patients that are diagnosed as having DCM and conduction disease. DCM causes a thinning of the left ventricle and loss of cardiac function. The study showed that deletion of the LMNA gene led to ramped up activity in the molecular pathway mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and that treatment with rapamycin turns down the abnormal signaling. Senior author Brian K. Kennedy, PhD, President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, says treatment with rapamycin extended mouse lifespan by 60 percent in a relatively rapid onset model of disease.

Rapamycin effective in mouse model of inherited heart disease and muscular dystrophies

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Once-daily Gralise significantly reduces pain intensity in PHN patients

Depomed, Inc. announced that a report of Phase 3 data published online this month, ahead of the print edition,  in the Clinical Journal of Pain showed that once-daily Gralise® (gabapentin) tablets (1,800 mg) formulation significantly reduces intensity of pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). The results showed that patients treated with Gralise experienced a significant reduction (- 2.12) in their average daily pain intensity compared with placebo treated patients (-1.63; P=0.013). This difference from placebo was statistically significant after one week and continued to be superior through the duration of the study. 

About Gralise (below structure-Gabapentin) : Gabapentin (brand names Fanatrex, Gabarone, Gralise, Neurontin, Nupentin) is a pharmaceutical drug, specifically a GABA analogue. It was originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy, and currently is also used to relieve neuropathic pain. There are, however, concerns regarding the quality of the trials conducted.

Depomed - Investor Relations - Press Releases

Monday, September 24, 2012

New agents, Antimicrobial peptides, join the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Line Hein-Kristensen worked with a new class of antimicrobial agents, the so-called antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides are part of the immune system in all life forms, including humans, and constitute the first line of defence against pathogenic organisms entering the body, e.g. via the food that we eat.

Antimicrobial peptides are special in that they act differently to conventional antibiotics and may thus be active against the very bacteria that are resistant to conventional antibiotics. These also include multiresistant bacteria – for example MRSA and ESBL against which we now have only a limited arsenal of treatment options.

Synthetic compound emulating nature.........................

Novel chemical methods have now made it possible to emulate the structure of natural antimicrobial peptides and thus also to develop many novel synthetic variants. Line Hein-Kristensen's PhD project focuses specifically on a series of synthetic compounds that have been designed, synthetised and characterised the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

The findings of her research show that the degree of antimicrobial activity against a range of food-borne and nosocomial (hospital-acquired) pathogenic bacteria depends on the chemical structure of custom-designed compounds. The research also shows that the synthetic antimicrobial peptides kill the bacteria by disrupting the bacterial cell membrane.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Memantine, Drug Shown to Improve Memory in Those With Down Syndrome

In continuation of my update on  memantine
Costa, an associate professor of medicine, and his colleagues studied 38 adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Half took the drug memantine, used to treat Alzheimer's disease, and the others took a placebo.
Costa's research team hypothesized that memantine, which improved memory in mice with Down syndrome, could increase test scores of young adults with the disorder in the area of spatial and episodic memory, functions associated with the hippocampus region of the brain.
Participants underwent a 16-week course of either memantine or a placebo while scientists compared the adaptive and cognitive function of the two groups.
While they found no major difference between the groups in adaptive and most measures of cognitive ability, researchers discovered that those taking memantine showed significant improvement in verbal episodic memory. One of the lowest functioning individuals in the study saw a ten-fold increase in memory skills.
"People who took the medicine and memorized long lists of words did significantly better than those who took the placebo," said Costa, a neuroscientist specializing in Down syndrome research. "This is a first step in a longer quest to see how we can improve the quality of life for those with Down syndrome."

Translational Psychiatry - Antagonism of NMDA receptors as a potential treatment for Down syndrome: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eliquis Receives Positive Opinion from CHMP | News | Drug Discovery and Development Magazine

In continuation of my update on Apixaban
Eliquis Receives Positive Opinion from CHMP | News | Drug Discovery and Development Magazine

New drug candidate shows promise against cancer - MIT Media Relations

Drugs containing platinum are among the most powerful and widely used cancer drugs. However, such drugs have toxic side effects, and cancer cells can eventually become resistant to them. Stephen J Lippard, Chemistry Professor, MIT who has spent much of his career studying platinum drugs, has now identified a compound that kills cancer cells better than cisplatin, the most commonly used platinum anticancer drug. The new compound may be able to evade cancer-cell resistance to conventional platinum compounds.
“I’ve long believed that there’s something special about platinum and its ability to treat cancer. Using new variants, we might have a chance of applying platinum to a broader range of cancer types, more successfully,” said Lippard. Lippard is senior author of a paper describing the new drug candidate, known as phenanthriplatin - which is cis-[Pt(NH3)2(phenanthridine)Cl]NO3.

Friday, September 21, 2012

GEN | News Highlights:Green Tea and Gold Nanoparticles Destroy Prostate Tumors

In continuation of my update on green tea

Scientists report on the development of a radioactive gold nanoparticle for prostate cancer therapy that they claim is far less toxic to normal tissues than traditional radiation therapy and results in massive reduction in tumor volume and increased survival in experimental mice after just one dose. The nanoparticles, derived from the Au-198 isotope, incorporate an extract from green tea known as epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCg), which effectively latches the nanoparticles onto the prostate tumor cells and facilitates their internalization.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scientists develop new strategy to overcome drug-resistant childhood cancer

Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research in London have found a way to overcome the resistance of cancer cells to a drug called crizotinib, which recently showed positive early results in its first trial in children with cancer.

Crizotinib (see structure) has already been licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in adult cancers, but early experience suggests tumours eventually stop responding to treatment, after developing additional mutations in the ALK gene targeted by the drug.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cylene's Pol I inhibitor, CX-5461 activates p53 and selectively destroys cancer cells

Cylene Pharmaceuticals  announced that research collaborators at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) in Melbourne, Australia have established, for the first time, that RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) activity is essential for cancer cell survival and that its inhibition selectively activates p53 to kill tumors. Findings show that Cylene's Pol I inhibitor, CX-5461 (see structure), selectively destroys cancer by activating p53 in malignant but not in normal cells.

The researchers repeated these studies with in vivo models of blood cancers and demonstrated that the drug removed malignant cells from the bloodstream, while allowing normal healthy blood cells to grow, thus differentiating CX-5461 from genotoxic treatments. Targeting cancer's dependence upon Pol I to trigger cancer-specific activation of p53 signifies an entirely new approach to cancer therapy.

"The combination of cancer's reliance on Pol I, the impressive preclinical activity of CX-5461, the development of clear predictive and prognostic biomarkers and the novelty of the therapeutic strategy is compelling," continued Dr. Rice. "As such, a First-in-Human clinical trial with CX-5461 is planned in collaboration with our colleagues at Peter Mac later this year."

An unanticipated finding was that malignant cells are considerably more dependent upon maintenance of high levels of Pol I activity than previously believed, and even modest inhibition of Pol I triggers cancer cell death. These results suggest that selective activation of a surveillance pathway to activate p53, using Pol I inhibitors such as CX-5641, is likely to be therapeutically useful in the treatment of a wide range of tumors. In addition, as a cancer-specific inducer of p53, CX-5461 was shown to be 300 times more potent than currently studied non-genotoxic p53 activators with alternate mechanisms.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Merck's Phase III trial assessing fracture risk reduction with odanacatib..

Merck announced   an update on the Phase III trial assessing fracture risk reduction with odanacatib, (a cathepsin K/cat-K inhibitor see structure below). The Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) for the study recently completed its first planned interim analysis for efficacy and recommended that the study be closed early due to robust efficacy and a favorable benefit-risk profile. As a result, Merck will begin taking steps to close the trial. The DMC noted that safety issues remain in certain selected areas and made recommendations with respect to following up on them. Merck's previously announced plan to conduct a blinded extension trial will allow further monitoring of the issues. The extension trial will also continue to measure efficacy.    

Merck anticipates submitting regulatory applications for approval of odanacatib in the U.S., European Union (EU) and Japan in the first half of 2013.

"We are encouraged by the Data Monitoring Committee's recommendation to close the trial early," said Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., executive vice president, Merck and president,
Merck Research Laboratories, "and look forward to reviewing the data with the scientific community to bring forward this innovation."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Drug from Mediterranean weed kills tumor cells in mice

The drug G202 is chemically derived from a weed called Thapsia garganica that grows naturally in the Mediterranean region. The plant makes a product, dubbed thapsigargin (see the structure,  that since the time of ancient Greece has been known to be toxic to animals. In Arab caravans, the plant was known as the "death carrot" because it would kill camels if they ate it, the researchers noted.
Thapsigargin is, 
(3S,3aR,4S,6S,6aR,7S,8S,9bS)-6-(acetyloxy)-4-(butyryloxy)-3,3a-dihydroxy-3,6,9-trimethyl-8-{[(2Z)-2-methylbut-2-enoyl]oxy}-2-oxo-2,3,3a,4,5,6,6a,7, 8, 9b-decahydro azuleno[4,5-b]furan-7-yl octanoate)

"Our goal was to try to re-engineer this very toxic natural plant product into a drug we might use to treat human cancer," says lead study author Samuel Denmeade, M.D., professor of oncology, urology, pharmacology and molecular sciences. "We achieved this by creating a format that requires modification by cells to release the active drug."
By disassembling thapsigargin and chemically modifying it, the researchers created a form that Denmeade likens to a hand grenade with an intact pin. [Thapsigargin prodrug G-202, is a cytotoxic analog of thapsigargin, 8-O-(12Aminododecanoyl)-8-O debutanoylthapsigargin (12-ADT) linked, via a carboxyl group, to the targeting peptide containing aspartic acid].
The drug can be injected and can travel through the bloodstream until it finds the site of cancer cells and hits a protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). PSMA is released by cells lining tumors of the prostate and other areas, and in effect "pulls the pin" on G202, releasing cell-killing agents into the tumor and the blood vessels that feed it, as well as to other cells in the vicinity. Specifically, G202 blocks the function of a protein called the SERCA pump, a housekeeping protein necessary for cell survival that keeps the level of calcium in the cell at the correct level, the researchers report.
"The exciting thing is that the cancer itself is activating its own demise," says senior study author John Isaacs, Ph.D., professor of oncology, urology, chemical and biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins.
Because the drug is targeted to the SERCA pump, which all cells need to stay alive, researchers say it will be difficult for tumor cells to become resistant to the drug, because they cannot stop making the protein.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cranberry products associated with prevention of urinary tract infections

Use of cranberry-containing products appears to be associated with prevention of urinary tract infections in some individuals. 

Chih-Hung Wang, M.D., of National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, and colleagues reviewed the available medical literature to reevaluate cranberry-containing products for the prevention of UTI.

"Cranberry-containing products tend to be more effective in women with recurrent UTIs, female populations, children, cranberry juice drinkers, and people using cranberry-containing products more than twice daily," the authors note.

The authors identified 13 trials, including 1,616 individuals, for qualitative analysis and 10 of these trials, including 1,494 individuals, were included in quantitative analysis. The random-effects pooled risk ratio for cranberry users vs. nonusers was 0.62, according to the study results.

"In conclusion, the results of the present meta-analysis support that consumption of cranberry-containing products may protect against UTIs in certain populations. However, because of the substantial heterogeneity across trials, this conclusion should be interpreted with great caution," the authors conclude.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tolfenamic acid appears to reduce esophageal tumors

A new study by researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando finds that Tolfenamic acid (TA, see structure), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), commonly used to relieve pain, inflammation and migraines has now been found to reduce esophageal tumors.

The study, led by Pius Maliakal, PhD and Riyaz Basha, PhD, researchers at MD Anderson Orlando's Cancer Research Institute, found that Tolfenamic acid prevented tumor growth and lessened the size of esophageal tumors in a rat model. Tolfenamic acid has been found to decrease certain proteins that are critical for cancer cell growth and the progression of esophageal tumors.

MD Anderson Orlando researchers are at the forefront of Tolfenamic acid research. It was this same research team that found that Tolfenamic acid inhibits tumor growth in pancreatic cancer. MD Anderson Orlando is poised to begin a new Phase I Clinical Trial for pancreatic cancer patients using Tolfenamic acid in a few months.

Further research will be required before Tolfenamic acid can be used as a safe and effective drug for esophageal cancer prevention. At present, this drug is an approved anti-inflammatory agent in Europe, South America and Asia, but is not yet approved for use in the United States.

Tolfenamic acid appears to reduce esophageal tumors

Friday, September 14, 2012

Eltrombopag can raise blood cell levels in some people with severe aplastic anemia

Eltrombopag, a drug that was designed to stimulate production of platelets from the bone marrow and thereby improve blood clotting, can raise blood cell levels in some people with severe aplastic anemia who have failed all standard therapies.

About one-third of aplastic anemia cases do not respond to standard therapy, a combination of immune-suppressing drugs. Although bone marrow stem celltransplantation is an option for some, patients without a matched donor have few treatment options. The findings of this new clinical study, carried out by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, suggest eltrombopag (see structure) could be a second-line therapeutic option for them.

Aplastic anemia is a rare blood disorder, with about 600 new cases in the U.S. each year. Aplastic anemia results from the destruction of bone marrow stem cells, which mature into red blood cells that carry oxygen, white blood cells that fight infection, and platelets that prevent excess bleeding. Symptoms of the disorder include fatigue, frequent infections, and hemorrhaging. In severe cases unresponsive to treatment, death can occur.

The research team in the NHLBI Hematology Branch tested eltrombopag because this drug had previously been shown to boost platelet levels in both healthy people and people with reduced platelets due to hepatitis C infection or immune thrombocytopenia, blood disorders that like aplastic anemia result in low platelet counts and increased risk of bleeding.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Drug, Bedaquiline to Tackle Resistant TB

Johnson & Johnson said that it is seeking U.S. approval for the first new type of medicine to fight deadly tuberculosis in more than four decades.

The experimental drug, called bedaquiline (discovered by Koen Andries, see structure), also would be the first medicine specifically for treating multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. That's an increasingly common form in which at least two of the four primary TB drugs don't work.

Mode of action : Bedaquiline affects the proton pump for ATP synthase, which is unlike the quinolones, whose target is DNA gyrase

Tuberculosis, caused by bacterial infection of the lungs and other body areas, is the world's No. 2 killer of adults among infectious diseases.

J&J's Janssen Research & Development unit created the drug, which was tested in several hundred patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in two mid-stage studies lasting for six months. Some patients were studied for about 1 1/2 years.

The company this fall is to begin late-stage testing that will compare bedaquiline to dummy pills over nine months in about 600 patients; each will also take six other drugs that are the standard treatments for tuberculosis. That study is aimed at seeing whether treatment for resistant tuberculosis can be reduced to nine months from the current 18 to 24 months recommended by the World Health Organization.

Roughly one-third of the world's population is estimated to be infected with the bacteria causing tuberculosis. It remains latent in most people for many years but can be activated by another infection or serious health problem.

TB is rare in the U.S. but kills about 1.4 million people a year worldwide, with about 150,000 of those succumbing to the increasingly common multidrug-resistant forms.

Janssen's head of infectious diseases, Dr. Wim Pays, said the company will also apply for approval of bedaquiline in other countries where TB is very common.

The disease is a serious problem in developing countries because it takes so long to cure and many patients stop taking their pills once they begin to feel better. That helps bacteria still alive in the patient to develop resistance to the medicines already taken, making future treatment much more difficult.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Strawberry extracts actively stimulate proteins that offer protection against cardiovascular disease

In continuation of my update on benefits of strawberries...

Professor Paul Thornalley from Warwick Medical School heads the team that discovered extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in our bodies called 'Nrf2' which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. This protein works to decrease blood lipids and cholesterol, the very things which can lead to cardiovascular problems.

Eating strawberries has previously been found to counter post-meal blood glucose and low density lipoprotein, or 'bad' cholesterol and therefore decrease risk of diabetes and heart disease, but this is the first time that strawberry extracts have been proved to actively stimulate proteins that offer us protection against disease.

Professor Thornalley explained:

"We've discovered the science behind how strawberries work to increase our in-built defences to keep cells, organs and blood vessels healthy and which can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

"So don't feel guilty about serving up strawberries and cream … although I'd suggest more strawberries and less or even no cream!"

Screening and mathematical modelling techniques developed at the University of Warwick can now take this research further to help identify the best varieties of strawberries, how they are served or processed and how many strawberries should be eaten for optimum health benefit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Arena Pharmaceuticals and Eisai Announce FDA Approval of BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) for Chronic Weight Management in Adults who are Overweight with a Comorbidity or Obese (NASDAQ:ARNA)

Enoxaparin prevents PVT in advanced cirrhosis

In continuation of my update on Enoxaparin

Enoxaparin (see structure) significantly reduces portal vein thrombosis (PVT) and increases overall survival in patients with advanced cirrhosis, the results of an Italian study show. The authors also found additional benefits beyond the drug's established effect on PVT.

The study included 70 cirrhosis patients with a Child-Pugh score of 7-10, aged 18-75 years who received enoxaparin 4000 IU/day for 48 weeks or no treatment. Patients were followed up for a mean of 58 weeks in the control group and 89 weeks in the enoxaparin group, with ultrasound evaluation of the portal vein system every 3 months.

As reported by the authors, patients receiving enoxaparin were 90% less likely to experience PVT than those who did not. Overall, 8.8% of enoxaparin-treated patients developed PVT compared with 27.7% in the control group, and no cases developed in the enoxaparin group within the first 2 years.

While decompensation occurred at an equal rate in both groups during the follow-up period, significantly fewer patients experienced progression during active treatment (11.7 vs 59.4%).

 Enoxaparin prevents PVT in advanced cirrhosis

Monday, September 10, 2012

FDA Approves Myrbetriq...

“Myrbetriq (see below structure) is the first oral OAB treatment with a distinct mechanism of action since the launch of anticholinergic agents 30 years ago,” said Steven Ryder, MD, president, Astellas Pharma Global Development. “The approval of Myrbetriq represents an important milestone in OAB treatment and in our ongoing commitment to advancing urological health.”....

FDA_Approval_Press_Release_FINAL 6.28.12.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lexicon announces results from two initial trials of LX4211 for type 2 diabetes

Thirty-six patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were randomized 1:1:1 to receive a once-daily oral dose of placebo or 150 or 300 mg of the dual SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibitor LX4211 for 28 days. Relative to placebo, LX4211 (see structure) enhanced urinary glucose excretion by

inhibiting SGLT2-mediated renal glucose reabsorption; markedly and significantly improved multiple measures of glycemic control, including fasting plasma glucose, oral glucose tolerance, and HbA1c; and significantly lowered serum triglycerides. LX4211 also mediated trends for lower weight, lower blood pressure, and higher glucagon-like peptide-1 levels. In a follow-up single-dose study in 12 patients with T2DM, LX4211 (300 mg) significantly increased glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY levels relative to pretreatment values, probably by delaying SGLT1-mediated intestinal glucose absorption. In both studies, LX4211 was well tolerated without evidence of increased gastrointestinal side effects. These data support further study of LX4211-mediated dual SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibition as a novel mechanism of action in the treatment of T2DM.
Lxicon announces results from two initial trials of LX4211 for type 2 diabetes: Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the publication of results from two initial trials of LX4211 in patients with type 2 diabetes in the online edition of the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Provectus Pharmaceuticals - ASCO 2010

 We know that,

Rose Bengal (4,5,6,7-tetrachloro-2',4',5',7'-tetraiodofluorescein) is a stain. Its sodium salt is commonly used in eye drops to stain damaged conjunctival and corneal cells and thereby identify damage to the eye. The stain is also used in the preparation of Foraminifera for microscopic analysis, allowing the distinction between forms that were alive or dead at the time of collection.

A form of Rose Bengal is also being studied as a treatment for certain cancers and skin conditions. The cancer formulation of the drug, known as PV-10, (see the structure) is currently undergoing clinical trials for melanoma and breast cancer. The company also has formulated a drug based on Rose Bengal for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis; this drug, PH-10, is currently in clinical trials as well.

 Top-line final data from Provectus’ PV-10 phase 2 trial on metastatic melanoma

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Xalkori Helps Lung Cancer Patients | News | Drug Discovery and Development Magazine

In continuation of my update Crizotinib/Xalkori 

Pfizer Inc. said its lung cancer drug Xalkori helped lung cancer patients who had previously been treated for the disease.

Pfizer said Xalkori (see the structre)  worked better than two older cancer drugs in the late-stage clinical trial. All patients had a rare type of non-small cell lung cancer and had previously been treated. The Food and Drug Administration approved Xalkori in August for use in patients whose cancer had not been treated.

In the study, patients took Xalkori, Alimta, or Taxotere. Pfizer said patients who took Xalkori had greater progression-free survival, or time from the start of treatment until they died or experienced disease progression. Xalkori is a pill taken twice per day while Alimta and Taxotere are given intravenously.

Xalkori is approved for use against non-small cell lung cancer in patients who have an abnormal gene that causes tumor growth. Xalkori blocks that gene, which is found in 1 percent to 7 percent of non-small cell lung cancer. About 85 percent of lung cancers are the non-small cell variety...


Anacardic acid can rescue some ALS phenotypes in vitro...

A research group at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Japan's Kyoto University has successfully recapitulated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-associated abnormalities in motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained from patients with familial ALS, a late-onset, fatal disorder which is also known for Lou Gehrig's disease. In a drug screening assay using the disease model, the team further found that the chemical compound anacardic acid (see structure)  can rescue some ALS phenotypes in vitro. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Green coffee beans show potential for losing weight..

In  a  study  presented,  at  the  American  Chemical  Society’s  spring     national meeting in San Diego, 16 over weight young adults took, by turns, a low dose of green coffee bean extract, a high  dose  of  the supplement, and a placebo. Though the study was small, the results were striking: Subjects lost an average of 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks and reduced their overall body weight by 10.5%.If green coffee extract were a medication seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration, these results would make it a viable candidate — more than 35% of subjects lost more than 5% of their body weight, and weight loss appeared to be greater while subjects were taking the pills than when they were on the placebo.

Joe Vinson, the University of Scranton chemist who conducted the pilot study, said the findings should pave the way for more rigorous research on coffee bean extract’s effects. A larger trial involving 60 people is being planned.Vinson, whose research focuses on plant polyphenols and their effects on human health, said it appears that green coffee bean extract may work by reducing the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut; it may also reduce insulin levels, which would improve metabolic function. There were no signs of ill effects on any subjects, Vinson reported.

The study used a “cross-over” design, which allowed each subject to serve as his or her own comparison group. For six weeks, volunteers swallowed capsules three times a day, ingesting either 700 or 1,050 milligrams of green coffee extract a day or taking a placebo. After a two-week break, they moved, round-robin style, to another arm of the trial.Subjects did not change their calorie intake over the course of the trial. But the more extract they consumed, the more weight and fat they lost. Altogether, they reduced their body fat by 16%, on average.Of the 16 volunteers, six wound up with a body mass index in the healthful range.One downside is that the extract is “extremely bitter.” It would be difficult to take without a lot of water, Vinson reported.....

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

‘Orphan drug’ used to treat sleep disorders may be a potent cancer-fighting agent used for many malignancies, study finds

An inexpensive "orphan drug" used to treat sleep disorders appears to be a potent inhibitor of cancer cells, according to a new study led by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Their novel approach, using groundbreaking technology that allows rapid analysis of the genome, has broad implications for the development of safer, more-effective cancer therapies.  

A research team led by corresponding author Carla Grandori, M.D., Ph.D., an investigator in the Hutchinson Center's Human Biology Division, used a high-speed robotic technology called high-throughput screening and a powerful genetic technique called siRNA genesilencing to uncover fatal weaknesses in cancer cells driven by an oncogene known as "Myc," which is hyperactive in many cancers, including those of the brain, breast, lung, ovary and liver.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Exelixis reports data from cabozantinib phase 3 trial on MTC

Exelixis, Inc. reported data from the phase 3 pivotal trial of cabozantinib in patients with progressive, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). The trial, known as EXAM, met its primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival (PFS), with patients in the cabozantinib (see structure) arm achieving a median PFS of 11.2 months compared with 4.0 months for patients in the placebo arm. Overall response rate (ORR), a secondary endpoint, was 28% in the cabozantinib arm and 0% in the placebo arm. Estimated PFS at one year was 47.3% with cabozantinib vs. only 7.2% with placebo. Data for overall survival (OS), another secondary endpoint, are not yet mature. Patients on the cabozantinib arm of the trial received a dose of 140 mg (free base equivalent). Adverse events were generally manageable allowing for treatment with cabozantinib for prolonged periods of time. Exelixis recently submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for cabozantinib in MTC to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Exelixis reports data from cabozantinib phase 3 trial on MTC: Exelixis, Inc.  reported data from the phase 3 pivotal trial of cabozantinib in patients with progressive, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Experimental drug tested against multi-drug resistant TB

"Researchers who tested a novel type of antibiotic against multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis [MDR-TB] are reporting that nearly half of patients who got the new drug cleared the bacteria from their lung fluid in two months," according to a study published  in the New England Journal of Medicine. Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka developed the experimental drug, delamanid (see structure), and "also designed and financed the clinical trial, which took place in 17 medical centers across nine countries." 

 "'We've invested a lot of time and money to develop this drug, but we are not seeking robust sales growth immediately,' Masuhiro Yoshitake, Otsuka's head of tuberculosis projects, said in an interview," Bloomberg Businessweek reports. "We want to begin selling to people who know how to use the drug," he added, the news service notes. "Doctors must balance the need to fight hard-to-treat cases against prolonging the medicine's potency,"

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Experimental drug tested against multi-drug resistant TB