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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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
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