Pharmaceutical International News - May 2012
Arthritis Drug Auranofin Could Treat Dysentery
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 21/05/2012 - 07:05:00
A low-cost drug already approved as an arthritis treatment could have a role to play in tackling amoebic dysentery, too, say US-based researchers.
Their finding stems from trials involving well-established drugs to see which of them could take on this often-fatal disease. Having tested out over 900 of them on animals, the researchers discovered that auranofin could outperform metronidazole - the best amoebic dysentery drug - ten-times over.
Now, they're looking to carry out the same kinds of trials on human subjects and, already, the progress made has been described as significant and extremely promising.
Arthritis Drug Auranofin
The arthritis drug Auranofin has been available to patients with the condition for almost 30 years, so is already extremely well-engrained into the public domain. It's been found to be able to do two things: extensively decrease the number of parasites that cause amoebic dysentery and reduce the size of the liver abscesses associated with the condition.
Amoebic dysentery is the cause of extreme diarrhoea and is prevalent in undeveloped nations, with over 70,000 resultant deaths recorded every single year.
Amoebic Dysentery Treatment
Details of the work so-far carried out by these researchers to find a new and effect amoebic dysentery treatment appear in the current edition of the Nature Medicine journal.
"Because auranofin has already been approved for use in humans, we can save years of expensive development", the University of California's Professor Sharon Reed explained. "This new use of an old drug represents a promising therapy for a major health threat."
Her colleague Professor James McKerrow - from the same university's Sandler Center for Drug Discovery - added: "When we're looking for new treatments for the developing world, we start with drugs that have already been approved. If we can find an approved drug that happens to kill these organisms, we've leapfrogged the development process that goes into assessing whether they are safe, which also makes them affordable throughout the world."
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Recently Added News
Financial analysts have tipped the newly-emerging immunotherapeutic class of cancer drugs for success, forecasting $35bn in annual sales for them
According to a new study, one in ten US sophomore students are using prescription drugs to aid studying without their parents knowing.
Newly-developed prescription algorithm gives doctors the tools to weigh up the risks and benefits of prescribing aspirin to particular patients
According to a new study, up to three quarters of pharmacies give poor medical advice, including giving dangerous drug combinations.