Monday, April 30, 2012

Novartis drug Afinitor® approved by FDA as first medication to treat patients with non-cancerous kidney tumors associated with TSC

In continuation of my update on AFINITOR®(everolimus)...

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation ("Novartis") announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets* for the treatment of adult patients with kidney tumors known as renal angiomyolipomas and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), who do not require immediate surgery. This marks the first approval of a medical treatment in this patient population......

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pistachio Intake May Endorse a Valuable Gut Environment

Eating pistachios can help adjust levels of potentially valuable bacteria in the gut, a finding that holds promise for supporting digestive health counsels a preliminary 16-person study. The research, presented as an abstract this week at the Experimental Biology conference, is the first study of pistachios and almonds and their modulating role on the gut microbiota composition.

"Gut microbiota, or the microbial environment in the gastrointestinal tract, provides ...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Re: FDA Approves Votrient for Advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma...

In continuation of my update on Pazopanib..

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, approved Votrient (pazopanib) to treat patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma who have previously received chemotherapy. Soft tissue sarcoma is a cancer that begins in the muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, and other tissues.

Votrient is a pill that works by interfering with angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels needed for solid tumors to grow and survive.

A rare cancer with many subtypes, soft tissue sarcoma occurs in about 10,000 cases annually in the United States. More than 20 subtypes of sarcoma were included in the clinical trial leading to approval of Votrient. The drug is not approved for patients with adipocytic soft tissue sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

"Soft tissue sarcomas are a diverse group of tumors and the approval of Votrient for this general class of tumors is the first in decades," said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Drug development for sarcomas has been especially challenging because of the limited number of patients and multiple subtypes of sarcomas."
The safety and effectiveness of Votrient was evaluated in a single clinical study in 369 patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma who had received prior chemotherapy. Patients were randomly selected to receive Votrient or a placebo. The study was designed to measure the length of time a patient lived without the cancer progressing (progression-free survival). The disease did not progress for a median of 4.6 months for patients receiving Votrient, compared with 1.6 months for those receiving the placebo.

The most common side effects in Votrient-treated patients were fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, weight loss, high blood pressure, decreased appetite, vomiting, tumor and muscle pain, hair color changes, headache, a distorted sense of taste, shortness of breath, and skin discoloration.

Votrient carries a boxed warning alerting patients and health care professionals to the potential risk of liver damage (hepatotoxicity), which can be fatal. Patients should be monitored for liver function and treatment should be discontinued if liver function declines.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gabapentin drug helps people to quit cannabis..

We know that, Gabapentin (see structure; brand names FanatrexGabaroneGraliseNeurontinNupentin) 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

Now Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found clinical evidence that the drug gabapentin, currently on the market to treat neuropathic pain and epilepsy, helps people to quit smoking marijuana (cannabis). Unlike traditional addiction treatments, gabapentin targets stress systems in the brain that are activated by drug withdrawal.

In a 12-week trial of 50 treatment-seeking cannabis users, those who took gabapentin used less cannabis, experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms such as sleeplessness, and scored higher on tests of attention, impulse-control, and other cognitive skills, compared to patients who received a placebo. If these results are confirmed by ongoing larger trials, gabapentin could become the first FDA-approved pharmaceutical treatment for cannabis dependence.

"A lot of other drugs have been tested for their ability to decrease cannabis use and withdrawal, but this is the first to show these key effects in a controlled treatment study," said Barbara J. Mason, the Pearson Family Chair and Co-Director of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at Scripps Research. "The other nice thing about gabapentin is that it is already widely prescribed, so its safety is less likely to be an issue."
Ref : 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forty-year-old Fourier transform mass spectrometry phasing problem solved

Forty-year-old Fourier transform mass spectrometry phasing problem solved: Scientists have developed a computation which simultaneously doubles the resolution, sensitivity and mass accuracy of Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FTMS) at no extra cost.

Liquorice root found to contain anti-diabetic substance

Omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the physical harm caused by smoking

In continuation of my update on Omega-3-fatty acids...

Omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the physical harm caused by smoking: Omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the physical harm caused by smoking, according to a new study.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Experts share top 5 springtime fruits and vegetables that fight cancer

Experts share top 5 springtime fruits and vegetables that fight cancer: The price of springtime fruits and vegetables seems to increase each year. But when buyers break this expense down to cents, they realize stocking up on these cancer-fighting foods still makes economical sense, say experts from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

EMA CHMP recommends approval of AMAG’s ferumoxytol

EMA CHMP recommends approval of AMAG’s ferumoxytol: AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a positive opinion for the approval of ferumoxytol, an intravenous (IV) iron therapy, for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in adult patients with chronic kidney disease.

More info on Ferumoxytol :

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Consumption of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs lowers risk of colorectal polyps in women

In continuation of my update on omega fatty acids
Consumption of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs lowers risk of colorectal polyps in women: New research finds that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in seafood (long-chain omega-3s) may reduce the risk of precancerous colorectal polyps in women, enhance the muscular benefits of strength training in older women and improve eye health after corneal surgery.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Natural products isolated from marine mollusks and sponges can reverse multidrug resistance in cancer cells

Oceans are a treasure trove of naturally produced chemical compounds with impressive and varied biological activity. One class of these compounds, the lamellarins, has some members that are cytotoxic, while others are able to reverse multidrug resistance in certain cancer cells. These lamellarins (see below structure) act by inhibiting the so-called P-glycoprotein, which enhances transport of anticancer agents out of cancer cells, thus rendering the cells multidrug resistant.

Now researchers lead by Professor Rob Capon, have set out to determine the structures of a variety of lamellarins and correlate them to the activity of the compounds. As they report in Chemistry—An Asian Journal, the activity is not determined by the core structure of the compounds but rather depends on the exact nature of pendant groups adorning the periphery of the molecule. Those compounds in which many hydroxy (OH) groups had been replaced with methoxy (OCH3) were able to reverse multidrug resistance in human colon cancer cells, while those featuring a large number of hydroxy groups showed higher cytotoxic activity.

Natural products such as the lamellarins are often valued for their cytotoxic properties for use as anticancer drugs. Capon, however, comments, "Our investigation reaffirms the view that non-cytotoxic natural products can exhibit valuable biological properties that allude to both an ecological advantage and a pharmacological potential....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coffee's Unique Health Benefits........

In continuation of my update on coffee
  • Coffee is the greatest source of antioxidants in the American diet.3,4 And the good news is that sound scientific studies have found that the common fears about excess coffee consumption are invalid, and higher intake means bigger benefits. 
  • An impressive number of studies have shown a strong association between higher consumption of coffee and a significantly reduced risk of most chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and others.
  • With over 1,000 phytochemicals, coffee's unparalleled antioxidant punch no doubt plays a role in its protection against disease. But a multitude of direct biological actions on the body are suspected, such as an improvement in intracellular signaling,95,96 which may help prevent cancer, diabetes and more.
  • Drinking just one cup of coffee a day - caffeinated or decaffeinated - can decrease the risk of developing diabetes by 13%.24 But at 12 cups a day, the risk of getting diabetes is slashed by 67%.21
  • Far from being a risky habit, coffee has now been shown to provide powerful protection against an epidemic of diabetes and a rising tide of other age-related diseases. It's an all-natural and inexpensive elixir - to go!
 While I wanted to compile all the benefits of coffee in one article, I found a detailed article and many interesting ones at  Life Extension Magazine.  

Neupro Approved by U.S. FDA for Parkinson's Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome

 We know that, Rotigotine (see below structure, Neupro) is a non-ergoline dopamine agonist indicated for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) in Europe and the United States. It is formulated as a once-daily transdermal patch which provides a slow and constant supply of the drug over the course of 24 hours.

Neupro Approved by U.S. FDA for Parkinson's Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome:  UCB announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Neupro (rotigotine transdermal system) for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of advanced stage idiopathic...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Victoza Label Updated to Include Data Showing Superior Efficacy When Compared to Januvia

 In continuation of my update on Liraglutide

Victoza Label Updated to Include Data Showing Superior Efficacy When Compared to Januvia:  Novo Nordisk received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update the product label for Victoza (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) to include data showing superior blood...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weight loss pill Qnexa wins panel vote and awaits approval

We know that, The combination of the drugs phentermine (see structure-1) and topiramate (structure -2) (trade name Qnexa) is an investigational medication for the treatment ofobesity and related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and has been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  Qnexa is being developed by Vivus, a California pharmaceutical company.  Phentermine is an appetite suppressant and stimulant of the amphetamine andphenethylamine class. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant that has weight loss side effects.

Structure 1
Weight loss pill Qnexa wins panel vote and awaits approval: The drug was rejected in a 10-6 vote the first time it came before a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel, in 2010, due to safety concerns. However when the medication returned for another review in February, the advisory committee gave it near-unanimous approval (20-2). Because the FDA often follows the advisory panel's advice, Qnexa is likely to get FDA approval, probably by mid-April.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sucampo announces positive results from lubiprostone phase 3 trial on OBD

We know that, Lubiprostone (rINN, marketed under the trade name Amitiza) is a medication used in the management of chronic idiopathicconstipation and irritable bowel syndrome. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose on 31 January 2006.

Sucampo announces positive results from lubiprostone phase 3 trial on OBD: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive top-line results from an open-label phase 3 clinical trial designed to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of lubiprostone in opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD) patients with chronic, non-cancer-related pain.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Metformin may protect against liver cancer

In continuation of my update on Metformin

Metformin may protect against liver cancer: Metformin, a widely used, well-tolerated drug prescribed for patients with diabetes, may protect against liver cancer, according to a new study.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Potential Method to Control Obesity: Red Wine, Fruit Compound Could Help Block Fat Cell Formation

A compound found in red wine, grapes and other fruits, and similar in structure to resveratrol, is able to block cellular processes that allow fat cells to develop, opening a door to a potential method to control obesity, according to a Purdue University study. 

While similar in structure to resveratrol -- the compound found in red wine, grapes and peanuts that is thought to combat cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases -- piceatannol might be an important weapon against obesity. Resveratrol is converted to piceatannol in humans after consumption.

"Piceatannol (see structure) actually alters the timing of gene expressions, gene functions and insulin action during adipogenesis, the process in which early stage fat cells become mature fat cells," Kim said. "In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis."

Ref : 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Antipsychotic drug, Olanzapine, may be helpful treatment for anorexia nervosa

In continuation of my update on Olanzapine..

Low doses of a commonly used atypical antipsychotic drug improved survival in a mouse model of anorexia nervosa, University of Chicago researchers report this month. The result offers promise for a common and occasionally fatal eating disorder that currently lacks approved drugs for treatment.

Antipsychotic drug may be helpful treatment for anorexia nervosa

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Use of common pesticide, imidacloprid, linked to bee colony collapse

We know that, Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide which acts as an insect neurotoxin and belongs to a class of chemicals called the neonicotinoids which act on the central nervous system of insects with much lower toxicity to mammals. The chemical works by interfering with the transmission of stimuli in the insect nervous system. Specifically, it causes a blockage in a type of neuronal pathway (nicotinergic) that is abundant in insects and not in warm-blooded animals (making the chemical selectively toxic to insects and not warm-blooded animals). This blockage leads to the accumulation of acetylcholine, an important insect neurotransmitter, resulting in the insect's paralysis, and eventually death. It is effective on contact and via stomach action

Use of common pesticide, imidacloprid, linked to bee colony collapse: The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Regimen May Prolong Survival in Advanced Cancers

In continuation of my update on interleukin and retinoic acid

Cancer patients who receive a combination of low-dose interleukin-2 and retinoic acid after conventional therapy seem to live longer than those who don't get the combination. 

Retinoic acid is derived from vitamin A. Interleukin-2, a compound that fortifies the immune system, is approved at high doses to treat "metastatic" melanoma and kidney cancer. Metastatic means that a cancer has spread.
The study showed that "these biological compounds may work at low doses. Bigger doses are not always better," said lead author Dr. Francesco Recchia, director of the oncology department at Civilian Hospital in Avezzano, Italy.
Recchia stumbled upon the possibility of using low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) when he switched a patient with metastatic melanoma who didn't tolerate high doses to a lower dose, and the patient had an extended response to the therapy.
This study involved 500 patients who had already responded well to chemotherapy. They had a variety of cancers, including ovarian, lung, colon, stomach, kidney, melanoma, breast and pancreatic.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Berries, Tea May Cut Men's Odds for Parkinson's: Study

In continuation of my update on the benefits of   berries, apple, tea...

Berries, Tea May Cut Men's Odds for Parkinson's: Study:  - Regularly consumption of food and drink rich in substances called flavonoids, such as berries, apples, tea and red wine, can lower a man's risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 40 percent, new research suggests.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cruciferous vegetable intake may boost survival of breast cancer patients

In continuation of my update on Broccoli and cabbage
Researchers with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China have discovered a possible link between a diet rich in certain vegetables and a decreased risk for breast cancer.
Corresponding author Jay Fowke, Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine, said 3,035 women diagnosed with breast cancer were identified through the Shanghai Cancer Registry. They were closely matched with 3,037 women randomly chosen from the general population.

Experimental Cholesterol Drug Could Be 'Game Changing'

 Initially, I was reluctant about  "Monoclonal antibody therapy". Recently  there is surge of interest in " human monoclonal antibodies". 

History behind this surge : The idea of a "magic bullet" was first proposed by Paul Ehrlich, who, at the beginning of the 20th century, postulated that, if a compound could be made that selectively targeted against a disease-causing organism, then a toxin for that organism could be delivered along with the agent of selectivity. He and √Člie Metchnikoff received the 1908 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for this work, which led to an effective syphilis treatment by 1910....

Experimental Cholesterol Drug Could Be 'Game Changing': Experimental Cholesterol Drug Could Be 'Game Changing' [St.Joseph News-Press (Mo)] From St. Joseph News-Press (MO) (March 22, 2012) (CNN) -- A new, experimental cholesterol-fighting drug is creating quite a buzz among researchers and other...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

FDA Approves First Boniva Generics to Treat Or Prevent Osteoporosis

FDA Approves First Boniva Generics to Treat Or Prevent Osteoporosis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic versions of Boniva (ibandronate) tablets, a once-monthly product to treat or prevent osteoporosis in women after
menopause. The most common type of bone disease...