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 The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>