Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  18     ISSUE:  1  January  2020 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management



Rubyeat Adnan



Dear Doctor,

Happy New Year 2020 !

Welcome to our online healthcare bulletin e- SQUARE.

In this issue, we focused on some interesting features like -
"Coronavirus Outbreak !
", "Breach Brain Barriers !", "Zika Vaccine !", "Biological Clock !",  "Lead Exposure Risk !", "Risk of Children !".

In our regular feature, we have some products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

Please send your feedback !  We always value your comments !

Click on to reply mode.

On behalf of the management of SQUARE, we wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous life.


Yours sincerely,


Editorial Team

Reply Mode      : e-square@squaregroup.com

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

 Coronavirus Outbreak !

Scientists Trace Coronavirus Outbreak to Snakes

Snakes may be the source of the new coronavirus outbreak in humans that started in China and has spread to other countries. Patients who became infected with the virus named 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization were exposed to wildlife at a wholesale market where seafood, poultry, snakes, bats and farm animals were sold, researchers report. The Chinese scientists, conducted a detailed genetic analysis of the virus. They concluded that it appears to have formed from a combination of a coronavirus found in bats and another coronavirus of unknown origin. The mystery coronavirus developed a mix (recombination) of a viral protein that recognizes and binds to receptors on host cells, which enables the virus to enter host cells and cause infection and disease, the researchers explained. Researcher also found evidence that 2019-nCoV was likely present in snakes before appearing in humans. Recombination within the viral receptor-binding protein may have enabled the virus to jump from snakes to humans, according to the study. This latest coronavirus and other emerging viral infections such as bird flu, Ebola and Zika pose significant worldwide health threats. Learning about their origins can help researchers develop measures to defend against future outbreaks.

SOURCE: HealthDay, January 2020

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Breach Brain Barriers !

                                                     Breach brain barriers to attack tumors

The brain is a sort of fortress, equipped with barriers designed to keep out dangerous pathogens. But protection comes at a cost: These barriers interfere with the immune system when faced with dire threats such glioblastoma, a deadly brain tumor for which there are few effective treatments. Researchers have found a novel way to circumvent the brain's natural defenses counterproductive by slipping immune system rescuers through the fortresses' drainage system.While the brain itself has no direct way for disposing of cellular waste, tiny vessels lining the interior of the skull collect tissue waste and dispose of it through the body's lymphatic system, which filters toxins and waste from the body. It is this disposal system that researchers exploited in the new study. These vessels form shortly after birth, spurred in part by the gene known as vascular endothelial growth factor C, or VEGF-C. Researcher wanted to see if VEGF-C could specifically be used to increase the immune system's surveillance of glioblastoma tumors. Together, the team investigated whether introducing VEGF-C through this drainage system would specifically target brain tumors. The team introduced VEGF C into the cerebrospinal fluid of mice with glioblastoma and observed an increased level of T cell response to tumors in the brain. When combined with immune system checkpoint inhibitors commonly used in immunotherapy, the VEGF-C treatment significantly extended survival of the mice. In other words, the introduction of VEGF-C, in conjunction with cancer immunotherapy drugs, was apparently sufficient to target brain tumors.

SOURCE: Science Daily, January 2020

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 Zika Vaccine !

                                            Breakthrough in Zika virus vaccine

Researchers have made significant advances in developing a novel vaccine against Zika virus, which could potentially lead to global elimination of the disease & developed a vaccine that prevents Zika infection in pre-clinical models of the disease. Zika is a mosquito-transmitted 'flavivirus' which can cause microcephaly (a birth defect where a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected) and severe birth defects in infants born to infected mothers. The introduction of an effective vaccine for Zika will prevent infection of pregnant women and the resultant congenital effects in the unborn child. This vaccine offers an advantage over other vaccines in development by eliminating the ongoing concerns in the field about enhancement of infection following exposure to dengue virus. This finding demonstrates for the first time that protective T cell vaccines against Zika are achievable. Researcher said that the next steps are to advance the vaccine to being ready for Phase I human clinical trials. This involves further pre-clinical studies which are vitally important to identify the most effective dosing and demonstrate protection against Zika infection in different pre-clinical models of the disease. The goal is to de-risk and create an attractive technology with a strong IP position, for licensing or co-development with a commercial partner. The findings of this study will also greatly inform other research in the development of flavivirus vaccines by shifting the focus of vaccine development from viral envelope and antibody-based vaccines to T-cell based vaccines.

SOURCE: Science Daily, January 2020

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Biological Clock !

                            Biological clock is key to reducing heart damage from radiation therapy

Treatment for breast cancer commonly includes radiation therapy, which offers good chances of success but comes with a serious long-term side effect: toxicity due to radiation that reaches the heart, causing DNA damage in healthy heart cells. Over time, this can lead to heart disease and eventually heart failure. A new study suggests that a preventive solution may lie in the biological clock, the built-in time-keeping mechanism that keeps us on a 24-hour cycle of rest and activity and regulates a wide variety of processes in our bodies. This study used a rodent model to determine whether the biological clock is involved in heart toxicity from radiation therapy and could be used as part of a strategy to reduce this toxicity. In addition, the researchers demonstrated that a protein known as Bmal1 which drives 24-hour rhythms in the expression of many genes plays an important role in protecting the heart from radiation-related damage. The researchers are hopeful that their discovery could someday be used to improve treatment outcomes for breast cancer patients. Researcher added that it could also be used to optimize the timing of radiation therapy so it is provided when a patient's Bmal1 level offers the greatest level of protection from heart damage. That timing may vary depending on a person's chronotype whether they are early birds or night owls as well as on other factors that influence the status of the master biological clock, such as shiftwork or frequent travel across time zones. Additional analyses focused on determining a potential relationship with the biological clock protein Bmal1. The researchers showed that Bmal1 levels across 24 hours were significantly lower in clock-disrupted mice versus control mice and peaked at a later time. They also found that higher levels of Bmal1 were associated with lower DNA damage levels, and vice versa. Finally, the researchers found that Bmal1 interacts with the BRCA1, BRCA2, and ATM genes, three DNA damage response genes they said are important in fighting against radiation-induced DNA damage and cell death.

SOURCE: Science Daily, January 2020

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Lead Exposure Risk !

                     Lead exposure linked to decreased brain volume in adolescents

Though leaded gas and lead-based paint were banned decades ago, the risk of lead exposure is far from gone. A new study shows that living in neighborhoods with high risk of lead exposure is associated with differences in brain structure and cognitive performance in some children. Researcher hypothesized that children in lower income families could be particularly vulnerable to the effects of living in high lead-risk environments. Their previous findings show that the socioeconomic status of families affects brain development. Here, they examined the association of lead exposure risk with cognitive scores and brain structure in more than 9,500 children. Their results showed that an increased risk of lead exposure was associated with decreases in cognitive performance and in the surface area and volume of the cortex the surface of the brain, responsible for initiating conscious thought and action. But this was not true for children from mid- or high-income families. No amount of lead is safe. Even at very low levels, cognitive deficits have been attributed to lead exposure. The study has not yet examined blood lead levels in these children, but the authors of this publication showed that risk of lead exposure is predictive of blood lead levels. Further studies are needed to determine the precise cause for these differences, such as whether lead exposure itself or other factors associated with living in a high lead-risk environment is contributing to this association, but the study unveils a clear correlation between family income and the effects of living in high lead-risk census tracts..

SOURCE: Science Daily, January 2020

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Risk of Children !

Brain differences detected in children with depressed parents

The largest brain imaging study of children ever conducted in the United States has revealed structural differences in the brains of those whose parents have depression. Depression is a common and debilitating mental health condition that typically arises during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors. Studies have consistently shown that adolescent children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop depression than those with no parental history of depression. However, the brain mechanisms that underlie this familial risk are unclear. The researchers analyzed brain images from over 7,000 children participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive development (ABCD) study, led by the NIH. About one-third of the children were in the high-risk group because they had a parent with depression. In the high-risk children, the right putamen a brain structure linked to reward, motivation, and the experience of pleasure was smaller than in children with no parental history of depression. These findings highlight a potential risk factor that may lead to the development of depressive disorders during a peak period of onset. However, in prior research, smaller putamen volumes also has been linked to anhedonia a reduced ability to experience pleasure which is implicated in depression, substance use, psychosis, and suicidal behaviors. Thus, it may be that smaller putamen volume is a transdiagnostic risk factor that may confer vulnerability to broad-based mental disorders. Researcher said that Understanding differences in the brains of children with familial risk factors for depression may help to improve early identification of those at greatest risk for developing depression themselves, and lead to improved diagnosis and treatment.

SOURCE: Science Daily, January 2020

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Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Emolent  
  Generic Name Light Liquid Paraffin + White Soft Paraffin
  Strength 3% + 8%
  Dosage form Lotion
  Therapeutic Category Emollient
  Product NilagelTM
Generic Name

Black seed oil

Strength 500 mg
Dosage form Soft Gel Cap
Therapeutic Category Galactogogue
Product CitivasTM
Generic Name Citicoline
  Strength 500 mg
Dosage form Caplet
  Therapeutic Category CNS Preparations

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