Tag: Pharmaceuticals

Current monoclonal antibodies less potent against SARS-CoV-2 variants

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), continues to wreak havoc across the globe. Scientists are racing to develop effective therapeutic regimens to combat the infection. One of therapy currently used to stimulate a robust immune response against the virus is monoclonal antibodies, a treatment used for

Counterfeit Medications

A counterfeit medication or drug is defined as a pharmaceutical product that is produced and sold with the intention to deceive the consumer about the origin, authenticity or efficacy of the product. This has the potential to be dangerous for consumers as the formulation may contain unusual ingredients or quantities of the ingredients, which can

How ‘superbug’ E. coli clones take over human gut

A ‘superbug’ clone of E. coli has evolved to prevent itself from becoming so dominant that it could potentially wipe out the bacteria from existence, scientists led by the University of Birmingham have discovered. The researchers investigated how and why a clone of E. coli called ST131 — dubbed a ‘superbug’ because it is resistant

Physician-targeted marketing is associated with increase in opioid overdose deaths, study shows

Many individuals cite prescription opioids as their gateway to illicit opioid use. However, while prescription opioids are involved in more than one-third of all opioid overdose deaths in the U.S., examining any correlation between prescription opioid overdose deaths and pharmaceutical industry marketing has been limited — until now. New research from NYU School of Medicine

Gold-complexed ferrocenyl phosphines as potent antimalarials

A team of researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed novel ferrocene-based molecules that impair the malaria parasite’s metabolic function leading to parasite death. Despite concerted efforts for malaria elimination, this deadly disease remains a major health threat to the developing world. The causative agent

Engineers repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic drug

The venom of insects such as wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria. Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic for humans, making it impossible to use them as antibiotic drugs. After performing a systematic study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp,

Potential assay artefacts in anti-malarial screening documented

Malaria remains an economic and health burden to the developing world. As plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, is acquiring rapid resistance against currently used drugs, identification of new classes of anti-malarials remains an urgent need. Potential anti-malarials include small molecules, peptides, antibodies or plant extracts with likely medicinal properties. These agents are often prepared

Taking out the (life-threatening) garbage: Bacteria eject trash to survive: ‘Minicell’ pods, used in drug delivery, discard damaged proteins to prolong life

Scientists have known for decades that certain bacteria produce small spherical versions of themselves. Although they lack basic materials to reproduce or function like normal cells, recent interest in such “minicells” has spiked due to their proficiency as nano-sized delivery tools for drugs and vaccines to targeted cells and tissues. Yet the natural role of

Cancer drug and antidepressants provide clues for treating brain-eating amoeba infections

The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm swimming pools, lakes and rivers. On rare occasions, the amoeba can infect a healthy person and cause severe primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a “brain-eating” disease that is almost always fatal. Other than trial-and-error with general antifungal medications, there are no treatments for the infection. Researchers at Skaggs

Next generation ALS drug silences inherited form of the disease in animal models: Preclinical study suggests drug may be ready for early stage clinical trials

NIH-funded researchers delayed signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rodents by injecting them with a second-generation drug designed to silence the gene, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest the newer version of the drug may be effective at treating an inherited form of the disease caused

Gene study pinpoints superbug link between people and animals

Scientists have shed light on how a major cause of human and animal disease can jump between species, by studying its genes. The findings reveal fresh insights into how new disease-causing strains of the bacteria — called Staphylococcus aureus — emerge. Experts say the research could help improve the use of antibiotics and design better

Clinical trials in a dish: A perspective on the coming revolution in drug development

A new SLAS Discovery article available now for free ahead-of-print, offers perspective from researchers at Coyne Scientific (Atlanta, GA) about Clinical Trials in a Dish (CTiD), a novel strategy that bridges preclinical testing and clinical trials. The pharmaceutical industry is facing unprecedented challenges as the cost of developing new drugs reaches unsustainable levels, fueled in

Statistical designs accelerate the optimization of layered 2-D crystals

It has been estimated that there are more than 10^100 possible materials that can be synthesised, grown, and optimised. Materials design can be a slow and laborious process and investigating the full parameter space is a formidable challenge. Machine learning and other advanced statistical techniques will almost certainly help accelerate materials discovery, design, and optimisation,

Common diabetes drug may also help with nicotine withdrawal

In a mouse study, a drug that has helped millions of people around the world manage their diabetes might also help people ready to kick their nicotine habits. In a report published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), investigators say metformin, an inexpensive drug commonly used to treat patients with