Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential drug discovery for Leishmaniasis

29.09.2004


The scientist who identified the target for several drugs used to treat sleeping sickness and Chagas’ disease has just discovered that antimonial drugs used to treat Leishmaniasis attack the same target.



And, he is "highly optimistic" that research on the parasite molecule "trypanothione", and enzymes that use trypanothione, will lead to a drug that will cure all three tropical diseases.

Professor Alan Fairlamb at the University of Dundee has worked out how the sulphur containing compound trypanothione allows these parasites to fend off free radicals and other toxic oxidants produced by the immune system of the infected patient. Antimonial drugs effectively neutralise the leishmania parasite’s antioxidant defence system, allowing the patient to clear the infection. This may explain why so many patients co-infected with HIV fail to respond well to treatment with antimonials.


Alan discovered and named the "trypanothione" compound in 1985. Together with his team they have now worked that trypanothione is vital for parasite survival and now know several enzymes that new drugs will need to target, including one related to a cancer drug target. The drug discovery and development process usually takes between 7 and 12 years but Alan believes it will be more rapid once they move the project into the new Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Dundee. The new centre, due to open in 2005 with new facilities in high throughput screening and medicinal chemistry will take the drug process further than any other UK university can and to a stage where the pharmaceutical companies will have enough data move it to the production stage.

"Many cases of leishmaniasis in India are now proving resistant to the traditional antimony drugs so new modern drugs are needed soon", explains Professor Fairlamb. "Resistance to antimonials also involves trypanothione" and he plans for his team to also investigate how they can use their discovery to reverse resistance to antimonials until better, safer drugs are developed.

Recent health reports on US soldiers returning home from Iraq with the Leishmaniasis tropical disease has drawn interest to the killer that has 12 million sufferers worldwide. Commonly brought to the attention of Western countries after a war, tropical diseases are not well funded by the pharmaceutical industry as most of their sufferers are in the developing world which is not a profitable market for sales.

Jenny Marra | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>