Monthly Archives: February 2016

New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function | Of the mice that received the treatment, 75 percent got their memory function back.

 

 

 

 

 

Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons of the brain, and they’re caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, just like when you twist up the vacuum cleaner tube.

As we don’t have any kind of vaccine or preventative measure for Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects 343,000 people in Australia, and 50 million worldwide – it’s been a race to figure out how best to treat it, starting with how to clear the build-up of defective beta-amyloid and tau proteins from a patient’s brain. Now a team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with a pretty promising solution for removing the former.

Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.

If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions – amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaquessit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.

The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks – a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

“We’re extremely excited by this innovation of treating Alzheimer’s without using drug therapeutics,” one of the team, Jürgen Götz, said in a press release. “The word ‘breakthrough’ is often misused, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach.”

The team says they’re planning on starting trials with higher animal models, such as sheep, and hope to get their human trials underway in 2017.

You can hear an ABC radio interview with the team here.

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sumatriptan Inhalation Powder (Onzetra Xsail)

Onzetra Xsail (sumatriptan) is a fast-acting, intranasal serotonin 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist (triptan) indicated for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura.

FDA Status: Approved on January 2016

Company: Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Sorafenib

A Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) for the treatment of primary kidney cancer (advanced renal cell carcinoma), advanced primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), and radioactive iodine resistant advanced thyroid carcinoma.

FDA status: Approved

Company: co-developed and co-marketed by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

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Brivaracetam

SV2A binding drug which exhibits it antiepileptic activity by blocking voltage sensitive neuronal Na channels (proposed mechanism).

FDA status: Approved on February 2016

Company: UCB, Inc

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Secukinumab

A fully human anti-Interleukin 17-A monoclonal antibody for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque type Psoriasis.

FDA status: Approved on January,2015

Company: Novartis

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FDA approves Brivaracetam to treat partial onset seizures


A congener of Levetiracetam, Brivaracetam binds more avidly to SV2A (Synaptic Vesicular 2A) protein.

The drug can cause:

(*) Drowsiness: Caution while driving

(*) Suicidal Behaviour

The FDA has given approval based on the data from three clinical trials of 1,550 patients with partial-onset seizures not adequately controlled with 1 to 2 concomitant antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The efficacy and safety of brivaracetam were studied.

In studies 1 and 2, the primary endpoint was the % reduction in 7-day partial-onset seizure frequency vs. placebo while study 3 evaluated the 28-day partial-onset seizure frequency vs. placebo.

  • In study 1, the Briviact 50 mg and 100 mg treatment groups demonstrated a 9.5% and 17% reduction in the primary endpoint, respectively.
  • In study 2, the Briviact 50 mg treatment group demonstrated a 16.9% statistically significant reduction in the primary endpoint.
  • In study 3, the Briviact 100 mg and 200 mg treatment groups demonstrated a 25.2% and 25.7% statistically significant reduction in the primary endpoint, respectively.

Get the highlights of the prescribing information here.

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CME on “Clinical Trials in Indian Context” | JIPMER | Feb 27,2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JIPMER and ISRPT will be conducting a CME on “Clinical Trials in Indian Context” on February 27,2016. The fee for ISRPT member is Rs:500/- and for a non-member is Rs.600/- The schedule is well charted out for a one day program. As always puducherry is special and this happens on a saturday, the delegates can spend their weekend in Pondy. Don’t forget to look out for places to visit in Puducherry.

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CME on Diabetes Mellitus – Future Perspectives | Chengalpattu Medical College | June 14, 2016

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Chengalpatu Medical College, which is at a 2 hours travel distance from Chennai will be organising an one day CME on “Diabetes Mellitus – Future Perspectives”. Last year they had conducted a similar CME on hyperlipidemia. As we all know these metabolic diseases are on the rise in India, CMEs focussing on them might shed some light on the future trends and create awareness among the students. It’s quite surprising that the organisers started circulating the brochure well in advance of the event which has been planned on June 14, 2016. But it quite appreciable in this way as the delegates can plan their program well.

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A Pharmaceutical insight into Zebra fish as a novel animal model for drug discovery and Pharmacokinetic Screening | SRMC &RI, Chennai | March 30&31,2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SriRamachandra Medical College & Research Institute, situated in Porur_Chennai will be organising a two day workshop on “A Pharmaceutical insight into Zebra fish as a novel animal model for drug discovery and Pharmacokinetic Screening” at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai | March 30&31, 2016. Registration fee: Rs.3000/- and the last Date of Registration is March 10, 2016.

This is a first of a kind of workshop being organised by SRMC&RI. This workshop can give an insight in PK/PD modeling keeping Zebrafish as a model. The reason for this selection is:

(i) The relative ease of maintaining large stocks of animals

(ii) Its high fecundity, which provides the investigator with large numbers of animals to analyse

(iii) The rapid embryonic development ex utero, which facilitates experimental manipulation and allows the direct observation of tissue formation and organogenesis in vivo.

Read more about Zebra fish here and also why is the most amenable model for High Throughput Screening (HTS).

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CME on stem cells and Therapy | BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore | IPS Bangalore Chapter| 25-2-2016

 

 

 

 

 

IPS-Bangalore chapter and Society for Regenerative Medicine & Tissue Engineering will be organising an one day CME program on Stem cells and Therapy. India is doing quite good in the field of stem cell research recently. The one of such examples will be “Stempeutics” which has its global operations in Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore and also at KMC, Manipal, Manipal University. With a nominal fee of Rs.350/- per delegate and well charted program schedule BGS Global institute of Basic Sciences has done a decent job in bringing down the great minds for a discussion on Stem cell Research. Click on the brochure below for more details.

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6 Hospitalized, One of Them Brain-Dead, After Drug Trial in France

Is this an another TGN-1412 disaster?
Read about the tragedy here.

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