Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemical cousin of anti-anxiety drugs holds promise for psoriasis treatment

13.12.2004


A new drug candidate previously shown to reduce harmful side effects of the autoimmune disease lupus also may be useful in treating psoriasis.

In a study published online Dec. 3 in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, scientists from the University of Michigan report that a compound called benzodiazepine-423 (Bz-423)---a chemical cousin of the anti-anxiety drugs Valiumâ and Xanaxâ---suppresses cell growth in a model of psoriasis. In psoriasis, cells multiply unchecked, so inhibiting cell growth should help control the disease.

Psoriasis is a life-long genetic condition that affects the skin and joints. More than 4.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis or an associated form of arthritis, and the economic burden of the disease may be as high as $4.3 billion a year, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.



"Currently, the best treatments for skin lesions associated with psoriasis are topical steroids, but the problem with those drugs is that they’re not selective for the disease-causing cells. They affect normal cells as well, and repeated use over time can lead to tissue destruction," said Gary Glick, who is the Werner E. Bachmann Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and a professor of biological chemistry in the U-M Medical School. "There are also protein drugs approved for use in treating psoriasis, but those drugs are injected instead of applied topically, which makes them more costly, less convenient and more likely to cause side effects since they are delivered throughout the body."

"What makes our compound particularly exciting is that it has the potential to be applied topically, and it shows very good selectivity for models of the disease-causing cells versus normal cells," Glick said. "So we believe the problems associated with repeated topical steroid use could possibly be alleviated with compounds like this."

Bz-423 has not yet been tested in people; the experiments described in the journal article were done on organ cultures of human skin designed to model psoriasis. However, said Glick, "with the data we have now and other data that we’re in the process of collecting, we hope to start a clinical trial in the near future."

The compound might also be added to Retin-A (retinoic acid), which is used to treat acne and skin damage due to sun exposure. "One of the problems with retinoic acid is that, while it’s very effective, it can also cause effects similar to psoriasis, so people often stop using it," Glick said. "Because the biological basis of retinoic acid hyperplasia (a reddening of the skin similar to inflammation) is very similar to that of psoriasis, the potential exists for our compound to be mixed with Retin-A to prevent these unwanted effects."

In 2003, Florida-based GMP Immunotherapeutics, Inc. (a subsidiary of GMP Companies, Inc.) entered into an exclusive patent license and a sponsored research agreement with the University of Michigan to develop Bz-423 and other compounds for treatment of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and some forms of cancer. Glick and collaborators at U-M also are using the compounds to explore fundamental biological questions about the origins of such diseases.

Glick’s coauthors on the paper are James Varani, professor of pathology; Narasimharao Bhagavathula, a research investigator in the pathology department; Hilary Scherzer and Kevin Fay, research associates in pathology; Kent Johnson, professor of pathology; Sewon Kang, professor of dermatology; and Anthony Opipari, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Glick and Opipari are shareholders in GMP.

Nancy Ross-Flanigan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>