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 Kidney tumor: Genetic trigger discovered
18.06.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New type of photosynthesis discovered
18.06.2018 | Imperial College London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>