Scientists Edge Closer Towards First Pancreatitis Treatment
News Jul 26, 2013
Each year around 20,000 people in the UK are admitted to hospital with acute pancreatitis. One in five of these cases are severe, resulting in around 1000 deaths annually.
Published in the US-based PNAS journal, findings reveal that tests undertaken by scientists at Cardiff University, using an existing calcium channel-blocking compound developed by GlaxoSmithKline, have succeeded in markedly reducing the flow of calcium into isolated pancreatic cells and stopping the root cause of the disease in its tracks.
“The aim of the research was to block excessive calcium entry caused by agents inducing pancreatitis and then test whether this would protect the pancreatic cells from self-digestion and death,” explains Senior Author of the research and Director of Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, MRC Professor Ole Petersen FRS.
“Our research shows that the calcium channel inhibiting compound offers unique and effective protection against inappropriate activation inside the cells of digestive enzymes, which would cannibalise the pancreas and the surrounding tissue.
“This breakthrough shows huge potential to radically change and improve the outcome for patients suffering from severe pancreatitis. The publication of these findings will open the way for further research involving animals and humans – and, if successful, we shall for the first time be able to treat this often fatal disease.”
Key Cancer-Linked Proteins Thought to be ‘Undruggable’ Until NowNews
A new study published in Nature, conducted by an alliance between industry and academia involving the University of Liverpool, highlights a new approach to targeting key cancer-linked proteins, thought to be ‘undruggable’.READ MORE
Researchers Reveal How Superbug Secretes It’s ToxinNews
Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researchers have created the first high-resolution structure depicting a crucial part of the ‘superbug’ Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The image identifies the ‘nanomachine’ used by the highly virulent bacteria to secrete toxins, pointing the way for drug design targeting this.READ MORE