Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  21     ISSUE:  12  December   2023 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals PLC.





P G Dip. Business Management






Dear Doctor,

Happy New Year 2024 !

Hope that you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.
Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Lung Cancer Treatment !", "Stem Cell-Based Treatment !", "Vaping Alert !", "Gene Therapy !",  "Radiation Therapy !", "Neurodegenerative Diseases !".

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

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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 PLC.

Lung Cancer Treatment !

    Allergy Medicine Might Help Treat Lung Cancer

Researchers have identified an allergy pathway that, when blocked, unleashes anti-tumor immunity in mouse models of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). And in an early parallel study in humans, combining immunotherapy with dupilumab an Interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptor-blocking antibody widely used for treating allergies and asthma boosted patients' immune systems, with one out of the six experiencing significant tumor reduction. Immunotherapy using checkpoint blockade has revolutionized treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of lung cancer, but currently only about a third of patients respond to it alone, and in most patients, the benefit is temporary. A big focus of our program TARGET is to use single cell technology and artificial intelligence to identify molecular immune programs that can dampen tumor immune response to checkpoint blockade. Also known as a PD1 inhibitor, checkpoint blockade is a type of cancer immunotherapy that can unleash the cancer-killing activity of T cells. Using single cell technologies, researcher discovered that the immune cells infiltrating lung cancers, as well as other cancers studied, exhibited characteristics of a 'type 2' immune response, which is commonly associated with allergic conditions like eczema and asthma. These results led us to explore whether repurpose a medication typically used for allergic conditions to 'rescue' or enhance tumor response to checkpoint blockade. Strikingly, found that IL-4 blockade enhanced lung cancer response to checkpoint blockade in mice and in six lung cancer patients with treatment-resistant disease. In fact, one patient whose lung cancer was growing despite checkpoint blockade had nearly all their cancer disappear after receiving just three doses of the allergy medication, and his cancer remains controlled today, over 17 months later. The researchers are encouraged by the initial results but emphasize the need for larger clinical trials to validate the drug's efficacy in treating NSCLC. Beyond the clinical trial findings, the investigators have now expanded the clinical trial, adding dupilumab to checkpoint blockade for a larger group of lung cancer patient. Through these trials, they are searching for biomarkers that can predict which cancer patients might benefit from dupilumab treatment and which may not.


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Stem Cell-Based Treatment !

     Stem Cell-Based Treatment Controls Sugar in People with Type-1 Diabetes

An innovative stem cell-based treatment for Type 1 diabetes can meaningfully regulate blood glucose levels and reduce dependence on daily insulin injections, according to new clinical trial results. The therapy aims to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that people with Type 1 diabetes lack. The small medical implant contains millions of lab-grown pancreatic islet cells, including beta cells that originate from a line of pluripotent stem cells. For the first time, a stem cell-based device can reduce the amount of insulin required for some trial participants with Type 1 diabetes. With further refinement of this approach, it's only a matter of time until have a therapy that can eliminate the need for daily insulin injections entirely. The therapy aims to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that people with Type 1 diabetes lack. The small medical implant contains millions of lab-grown pancreatic islet cells, including beta cells that originate from a line of pluripotent stem cells. The devices approximately the size of a Band-Aid and no thicker than a credit card are implanted just beneath a patient's skin where it is hoped they will provide a steady, long-term regulated supply of self-sustaining insulin. Each device is like a miniature insulin-producing factory. The pancreatic islet cells, grown from stem cells, are packaged into the device to essentially recreate the blood sugar-regulating functions of a healthy pancreas. The Stem Cell Network is delighted to support this clinical trial. Moving toward a functional cure for diabetes will require a coordinated and collaborative effort. Previously, in a 2021 study in Cell Stem Cell, the researchers were the first to show that the approach could produce insulin in the human body. The latest trial sought to significantly increase the amount of insulin produced by leveraging two-to-three times more devices per participant, alongside an updated device design with small perforations to allow for blood vessel ingrowth a feature aimed at improving survival of the lab-grown cells. The envision a future where people with Type 1 diabetes are able to live their lives free from daily insulin injections and free from immune-suppressing drugs. That future is now within reach & leading the way in efforts to bring these novel treatments to patients.


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Vaping Alert !

                           Smoking, Vaping Both Bad for Teeth & Gums: Study

For those who care about their teeth, a new study sounds a pretty clear alarm: using tobacco in any form including the increasingly popular practice of vaping is a recipe for a dental nightmare. The warning comes from the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), after scientists analyzed several years of tracking data that looked at associations between smoking and poor dental health among thousands of American men and women. The bottom line: regular users of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (vapes), cigars, pipes, hookahs and/or smokeless tobacco face a notably higher risk for various forms of dental trouble. Depending on the type of tobacco involved, that includes a significantly heightened likelihood for six different types of dental concerns, including gum disease; precancerous oral lesions; bone loss surrounding the teeth; loose teeth; and/or tooth loss due to tooth decay or gum disease. And vaping, which is sometimes viewed as a safer form of tobacco use, was linked to a 27% higher risk for bleeding following brushing or flossing. Between 2023 and 2023, lead researcher and her colleagues analyzed three to five years of annual tracking data collected from 2013 to 2019. The six dental issues under consideration were tracked among roughly 10,000 to 16,000 men and women. About 16% to 19% of them smoked cigarettes regularly, while 2% to 3% smoked cigars or used smokeless tobacco, respectively. In the end, cigarettes were linked to a 33% greater risk for gum disease, a 35% higher risk for loose teeth and a 43% higher risk for losing teeth, while cigar use was linked to a more than doubling of the risk for precancerous oral lesions. But the investigators also focused on the 2% to 3% of participants who regularly vaped. Even so, she was not at all surprised by the finding of a significantly higher risk for gum bleeding after flossing/brushing among vapers. The concern, she explained, is predicated on what her own prior work has already revealed about vaping's impact on the bacteria that lives in everyone's mouth, an environment that researchers refer to as "the biofilm." In fact, after stacking the dental health of people who had vaped for only five months against smokers who had been smoking for at least fiveyears. Exactly if or how that all translates into serious dental damage among vapers is not entirely clear, the researchers cautioned. They noted, for example, that most vapers are former smokers. And they pointed out that means the increased gum bleeding risk among vapers could potentially have something to do with quitting cigarette smoking. On the other hand, the team warned that despite only linking gum bleeding to vaping, it could be that such bleeding is a early warning for dental problems as yet undetected. More research to track such longer-term risk will be needed, the study team said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, December 2023

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Gene Therapy !

                                FDA Approves Gene Therapy for Tough-To-Treat Bladder Cancer

Patients with a high-risk bladder cancer now have a new option to treat it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a gene therapy called Adstiladrin, which is designed to work for patients who have what's called high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) that hasn't responded to the standard treatment, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), but hasn't spread. BCG is a vaccine typically used for tuberculosis. "This approval provides health care professionals with an innovative treatment option for patients with high-risk NMIBC that is unresponsive to BCG therapy," Director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "Today's action addresses an area of critical need. The FDA remains committed to facilitating the development and approval of safe and effective cancer treatments." About 75% to 80% of newly diagnosed bladder cancers have grown through the lining of the bladder, but not yet invaded the muscle. About 30% to 80% of cases recur and risk spreading. Treatment typically involves removing the tumor and using BCG to reduce the risk that the cancer will recur. But for patients whose cancer is unresponsive to BCG, there are few treatment options. Patients will receive Adstiladrin once every three months into the bladder through a urinary catheter. About 57,000 men and 18,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 12,000 men and 4,700 women die from the disease each year in the United States. FDA officials approved Adstiladrin based on a multicenter clinical study of 157 patients, 98 of whom had BCG-unresponsive disease that hadn't spread. Patients received Adstiladrin once every three months for up to 12 months or until the treatment became too toxic. About 51% of enrolled patients using Adstiladrin therapy had all signs of cancer disappear. Median response was 9.7 months. About 46% of patients who responded were in complete remission for at least one year. The most common adverse reactions associated with Adstiladrin were bladder discharge, fatigue, bladder spasm, urinary urgency, presence of blood in urine, chills, fever and painful urination. People who are immunosuppressed or immune-deficient should not use Adstiladrin, the FDA said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, December 2023

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Radiation Therapy !

                         Radiation Therapy May be Potential Heart Failure Treatment

Now, after studying the cardiac effects of radiation in a small number of these patients and modeling the effects of low-dose radiation in mice with heart failure, the research team has found that low-dose radiation therapy appears to improve heart function in various forms of heart failure. More research is needed before the investigators can evaluate this therapy in patients with heart failure, but the study suggests that radiation's effects on injured hearts with high levels of inflammation may be more varied and perhaps beneficial than previously understood. Study suggests that low-dose radiation therapy improves heart function, at least in part, by reducing the number of inflammatory immune cells in the heart muscle. The radiation therapy used to treat ventricular tachycardia is targeted to a specific location in the heart; however, a large portion of the rest of the heart gets a low-dose exposure. Researcher wanted to understand the effects of that low-dose radiation on these patients' hearts. There was concern that it could be harmful to overall heart function, even though it treats dangerous arrhythmia. Researcher surprised to find the opposite: Heart function appeared to be improved after radiation therapy, at least in the short term. About 6.2 million American adults currently live with heart failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of heart failure patients hospitalized for the condition die within five years of that first hospitalization, demonstrating a need for better therapies. A failing heart gradually loses its ability to properly supply the body with oxygenated blood. A complex condition, heart failure can have diverse triggers, including a past heart attack, viral infection or chronic arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia. A group of nine patients with ventricular tachycardia was evaluated with cardiac MRI before and after radiation treatment, with the MRIs showing improved heart function soon after radiation. In particular, the patients' hearts showed improved pumping capacity of the left ventricle, which supplies blood to the entire body. The improvement was seen a few days after treatment, so it was deemed unlikely to be due to the reduction of the arrhythmia, which happens more gradually over the ensuing weeks and months. The researchers also studied the effects of similar low-dose radiation to the heart in groups of mice with heart failure from three different causes. Similar to what was observed in the human patients, the researchers found improved heart function in mice receiving radiation therapy, especially in the left ventricle. The researchers found that the failing mouse hearts that received radiation had reduced fibrosis or scar tissue and reductions in cardiac macrophages, a type of immune cell that can drive inflammation in the heart. In general, the irradiated hearts had fewer cells that proliferate quickly such as immune cells and fibroblast which tend to contribute to worsening heart failure. The effect see in these hearts is likely more complex than a simple reduction of rapidly dividing inflammatory immune cells. Researcher continuing research to delve more deeply into what else may be happening, but have been pleasantly surprised to see evidence that low-dose radiation in these hearts may reduce inflammation and help remodel the heart in a way that is beneficial.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, December 2023

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Neurodegenerative Diseases !

                                                                  New Protein Linked to Early-Onset Dementia Identified

Most neurodegenerative diseases, including dementias, involve proteins aggregating into filaments called amyloids. In most of these diseases, researchers have identified the proteins that aggregate, allowing them to target these proteins for diagnostic tests and treatments. But, in around 10% of cases of frontotemporal dementia, scientists had yet to identify the rogue protein. Now, scientists have pinpointed aggregated structures of the protein TAF15 in these cases. Frontotemporal dementia results from the degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which control emotions, personality and behavior, as well speech and understanding of words. It tends to start at a younger age than Alzheimer's disease, often being diagnosed in people aged 45 to 65, although it can also affect younger or older people. Researchers who led the study at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. This discovery transforms our understanding of the molecular basis of frontotemporal dementia. It is a rare finding of a new member of the small group of proteins known to aggregate in neurodegenerative disease. Now that researcher has identified the key protein and its structure, start to target it for the diagnosis and therapy of this type of frontotemporal dementia, similar to strategies already in the pipeline for targeting the aggregates of amyloid-beta and tau proteins that characterize Alzheimer's disease. The scientists used cutting-edge cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to study protein aggregates from the brains of four people who had this type of frontotemporal dementia at atomic resolution. In this type of dementia, scientists had long thought that a protein called FUS aggregated, based on similarities with other neurodegenerative diseases. Using cryo-EM, the researchers at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology were able to identify that the protein aggregates from each brain had the same atomic structure. Surprisingly, the protein was not FUS it was another protein called TAF15. This is an unexpected result because, before this study, TAF15 was not known to form amyloid filaments in neurodegenerative diseases and no structures of the protein existed. Cryo-EM is transforming our understanding of the molecular pathology of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases more broadly by giving us insights that were beyond the capabilities of previous technologies. However, now that researcher knows the key protein and its structure & have the potential to develop tools to screen for these abnormal protein aggregates in hundreds of patient samples to test how widespread they are.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, December 2023

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Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals PLC.

  Product GleazyTM   
  Generic Name Hydroxyethyl Cellulose USP & Glycerol BP
  Strength 50 mg
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Personal Lubricant
  Product MagnideTM
Generic Name

Magnesium Oxide

Strength 365 mg
Dosage form Tablet
Therapeutic Category Mineral
  Product GlycoventTM 
  Generic Name Glycopyrronium Bromide
  Strength 25 mcg/ml
  Dosage form Nebuliser Solution
  Therapeutic Category Long acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA)

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