Professor David Craik and Dr Richard Clark from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience have received $218,275 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to aid in translating their research into a product available for Australians to use.
Studies on the molecule they have developed have shown that it is effective in relieving neuropathic pain in animals.
“Neuropathic pain is one of the most severe forms of chronic pain, and very difficult to treat,” Dr Clark said.
“Regular pain occurs when the nervous system is stimulated by, for example, an injury, whereas neuropathic pain occurs when the nervous system itself is damaged.”
“Current treatments in neuropathic pain only provide meaningful relief for one in three patients, and all of the current market-leading drugs have serious side effects, as well as taking up to three weeks to begin to take effect.”
Peptides (small proteins) from cone snail venom have attracted recent attention from scientists, as they can target receptors with a high degree of accuracy, thus eliminating severe side effects.
But peptides also degrade rapidly in the body. Professor Craik and Dr Clark have overcome this problem by engineering a circular peptide, using a circular protein backbone discovered by Professor Craik and found in plants such as violets.
The NHMRC Development grant will allow the researchers to further test their molecule to fully establish its therapeutic potential.
“Successful outcomes from this project will provide additional confirmation of the suitability of our molecule as a treatment for neuropathic pain,” Dr Clark said.
“Armed with these data, we will be able to secure a commercial partner and develop this molecule into a tablet for sufferers of chronic pain.”
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26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy