Thursday, April 1, 2010

New anti-inflammatory drug shows promise for treating inflammatory disorders

In one of my earlier blog, I  did mention about the antiinflammatory activity of H2S gas. Now interestingly John Wallace, a pharmacologist and director of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University, compared naproxen, a commonly used NSAID, to a novel anti-inflammatory drug, ATB-346 (ATB-346 is a derivative of naproxen which releases hydrogen sulfide), which he developed in collaboration with a team of Italian chemists and is now commercializing through his company, Antibe Therapeutics Inc. The basis for this research is by the fact that hydrogen sulphide is an important mediator of gastric mucosal defence. As we all know the ulcerogenecity associated with NSAIDs, there is a need to have NSAIDs with least or no ulcerogenecity.

As per the claim by the researchers, ATB-346, [above, structure : 2-(6-methoxy-napthalen-2-yl)-propionic acid 4-thiocarbamoyl-phenyl ester] acts by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-1 and 2 and  reduces inflammation (in vivo). More interesting out come from their research is  that ATB-346 suppressed gastric prostaglandin E2 synthesis as effectively as naproxen, but produced negligible damage in the stomach and intestine. 

ATB-346 did not cause significant damage, where as naproxen rendered significant  gastric mucosa damage (e.g. ablation of sensory afferent nerves, inhibition of endogenous nitric oxide or hydrogen sulphide synthesis, co-administration with aspirin, antagonism of KIR6.x channels). Unlike naproxen and celecoxib, ATB-346 accelerated healing of pre-existing gastric ulcers. In a mouse airpouch model, ATB-346 suppressed cyclooxygenase-2 activity and inhibited leukocyte infiltration more effectively than naproxen. ATB-346 was as effective as naproxen in adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats, with a more rapid onset of activity, but with substantially reduced gastrointestinal toxicity (100 times safer than naproxen). Unlike naproxen, ATB-346 did not elevate blood pressure in hypertensive rats.

The researchers concluded that H2S-releasing NSAIDs appear to represent a promising alternative to existing therapies for the treatment of inflammation and pain. Future research will focus on the potential cardiovascular benefits of these drugs. .....

Ref : John L Wallace et. al., British Journal of Pharmacology, 159(6),  1236 - 1246

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