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VOL.  17     ISSUE:  6  June  2019 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management



Rubyeat Adnan



Dear Doctor:

Welcome to this edition of 'e-SQUARE' !

Hope you are enjoying this version of online healthcare bulletin  !

This issue features the articles including-

 "Brain Parasite !", "Drug for Pancreatitis !", "Neuro-stimulation Devices !", "Opiate Antidotes !", "Virtual biopsy !", "Lifelong Obesity !".

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

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Editorial Team

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

 Brain Parasite !

                                                                               Dangerous brain parasite 'orders in' for dinner

Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite capable of infecting any animal, including humans. Up to one-third of infections in people happen through contact with cat waste or contaminated food or water. Although the parasite only causes acute disease in immune compromised persons, the infection is permanent and has been associated with neurological diseases such as schizophrenia and rage disorder. The parasite can invade virtually all types of cells in the body. Once inside, it begins to divide exponentially, a process that requires a great deal of resources. The parasite extracts most of the nutrients it needs for replication from its host cell, including essential amino acids like arginine. Because arginine is quickly depleted from the host cell, researchers wanted to learn where the parasite gets more of the amino acid to fuel its expansion into the hundreds. Researcher used a variety of mutant host cells to discern that a protein called GCN2 becomes activated as parasites consume the host cell's arginine supply & mapped out the cascade of events following GCN2 activation, leading him to discover that host cells infected with Toxoplasma express more of an arginine transporter called CAT1 at their cell surface. CAT1 brings more arginine into the infected cell so Toxoplasma can continue to binge. These findings suggest infected host cells can sense their nutrients being depleted. Oblivious to the parasites growing inside them, the host cells unwittingly gear up to bring in more arginine to compensate for the loss. The identification of proteins like GCN2 that are important for parasite growth and replication may serve as promising new drug targets to treat intracellular pathogens. Intracellular pathogens have to replicate without raising alarms, but in order to grow they need to pilfer nutrients from the host.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2019

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 Drug for Pancreatitis !

                                     Sugars that coat proteins are a possible drug target for pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that accounts for 275,000 hospitalizations in the United States annually. Patients who suffer from hereditary pancreatitis have a 40 to 50 percent lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Researcher studies the progression of pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer & focused on a potentially powerful biomarker, a chemical structure created by complex sugar molecules called CA19-9, since CA19-9 is elevated in patients with pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Now researcher provide the first evidence that CA19-9 actually causes the disease it was correlated with as a biomarker, and suggest that blocking this complex sugar structure could be used therapeutically to prevent the progression from pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer. This is one of those unique opportunities where prophylactic intervention of pancreatitis may lead to prevention of pancreatic cancer in at-risk patients said by lead researcher. CA19-9, a complex sugar structure that coats many proteins but had not previously been ascribed with any particular function. A single enzyme controls the final step in production of CA19-9 in humans, but this enzyme is missing in rodents. Researcher generated mice that produced CA19-9, and surprisingly noted that the mice developed severe pancreatitis & findings position CA19-9 as an attractive therapeutic target for pancreatitis. In mice, CA19-9 recruits the immune system to repair injuries from pancreatitis. Researcher found that during this recruitment process, CA19-9 can also induce a cascade of biochemical reactions propelled by the release of deleterious digestive enzymes from the pancreas. This cascade opens a transformational gateway for cancer to develop and Engle also demonstrated that CA19-9 can dramatically accelerate the growth of pancreatic tumors. By targeting CA19-9 with antibodies in animal models, researcher were able to reduce the severity of pancreatitis and even prevent it from occurring.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2019

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 Neuro-stimulation Devices !

Neurological diseases could find new option in neuro-stimulation devices

The United States is seeing an increase in the number of neurological diseases. Stroke is ranked as the fifth leading cause of death, with Alzheimer's being ranked sixth. Another neurological disease Parkinsonís affects nearly 1 million people in the U.S. each year. Implantable neuro-stimulation devices are a common way to treat some of these diseases. One of the most commonly used elements in these devices is platinum microelectrodes but it is prone to corrosion, which can reduce the functional lifetime of the devices. Researcher focusing on augmenting and improving implantable devices using Nano and microscale technologies for more reliable and advanced treatments & on the advantage of using graphene. The team has shown the graphene monolayer to be an effective diffusion barrier and electrical conductor. Microscale electrodes are going to play a key role in the future with more demand for precise and targeted neuro-stimulation therapy. Researcher think that neurosurgeons, neurologists, and other scientists in neuro-engineering field will be able to use this electrode technology to better help patients with implantable devices for restoring eyesight, movement, and other lost functionalities.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2019

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Opiate Antidotes !

                                 Sustainable method to produce lifesaving opiate antidotes at reduced cost

Overdose from opiates has skyrocketed. Researcher identified a new method of producing these compounds using a microorganism discovered in a waste stream associated with the processing of opium poppy. This green chemistry process has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of the antidote drugs as well as decrease chemicals currently used that result in large amounts of harmful waste. Enzyme morphinan N-demethylase for more sustainable opiate processing. Enzymes perform reactions at efficiencies that surpass synthetic chemistry, thereby reducing the cost and impact of drug production on the environment. Researcher work now to optimize production levels of the enzyme to a scale sufficient for industrial processes. Naturally occurring opiates, such as morphine and thebaine, are produced in poppy species. Thebaine is converted into painkillers and opiate addiction treatments, the latter requiring a chemical reaction called N-demethylation. Current opiate N-demethylation utilizes noxious reagents, resulting in harmful waste. Microorganisms provide a rich source of enzymes useful for metabolizing unique compounds in their environment. Researcher probed an opium processing waste stream sample to identify an organism capable of catalyzing opiate N-demethylation. To identify a biocatalyst, a sludge sample was subjected to minimal medium containing thebaine as the sole carbon source. This led to the discovery of Thebainfresser, a Methylobacterium that metabolizes opiates by removing the N-methyl group. N-demethylation was induced following growth in minimal medium, a characteristic that led to discovery of the underlying gene MND (morphinan N-demethylase). The enzyme MND was found to be robust and versatile, N-demethylating structurally diverse substrates at varying temperatures and pH levels. In addition, MND tolerated selected organic solvents and maintained activity when immobilized. These properties make it an attractive candidate for further development for pharmaceutical manufacture.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2019

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'Virtual biopsy' !

'Virtual biopsy' device to detect skin tumors

The ability to analyze a skin tumor non-invasively could make biopsies much less risky and distressing to patients. Currently, physicians who perform surgical biopsies often don't know the extent of a lesion and whether it will be necessary to refer the patient to a specialist for extensive tissue removal or plastic surgery until surgery has already begun. The first-of-its-kind experimental procedure, called vibrational optical coherence tomography (VOCT), creates a 3-D map of the legion's width and depth under the skin with a tiny laser diode. It also uses soundwaves to test the lesion's density and stiffness since cancer cells are stiffer than healthy cells. An inch-long speaker applies audible soundwaves against the skin to measure the skin's vibrations and determine whether the lesion is malignant. Lead researcher said that, this procedure can be completed in 15 minutes with no discomfort to the patient, who feels no sensation from the light or the nearly inaudible sound. It's a significant improvement over surgical biopsies, which are invasive, expensive and time consuming. The study found that a prototype VOCT device, which awaits FDA approval for large-scale testing, is able to accurately distinguish between healthy skin and different types of skin lesions and carcinomas. The researchers tested the device over six months on four skin excisions and on eight volunteers without skin lesions. Further studies are needed to fine-tune the device's ability to identify a lesion's borders and areas of greatest density and stiffness, which would allow physicians to remove tumors with minimally invasive surgery.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2019

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 Lifelong Obesity !

                                          Lifelong obesity linked to physical difficulties aged 50

Study shows that, People who are obese from childhood through to middle age are more than twice as likely to have difficulty with daily tasks such as lifting, climbing stairs and carrying shopping by the time they are 50. People who became obese in early life had more than double the risk of difficulties with such tasks than those who were never obese. The researcher suggested this was likely because people who were obese for longer were also more likely to have a higher BMI by the age of 50. Lead researcher said that, the prevalence of obesity at younger ages is increasing. Since obesity in childhood often tracks into adulthood, it is likely that more people will spend increasing periods of their life living with obesity. The researchers analyzed data from 8,674 participants from the 1958 National Child Development Study, a birth cohort study that has followed thousands of people from when they were born in 1958 through to midlife. The study found that obesity at any age in adulthood was associated with greater risk of poor physical functioning at age 50. Physical functioning was assessed with a validated questionnaire that asked participants how able they were to do the physical tasks of daily living such as carrying shopping, bending, kneeling, climbing up stairs and walking moderate distances. The most limited 10 per cent of respondents in each gender were classed as having poor physical functioning. Half of the participants classified as having poor physical functioning reported that they had trouble bending, kneeling or stooping and just over a quarter had difficulty bathing or dressing. Adults need to be able to perform the physical tasks of daily living in order to live independently and this is particularly important in the context of an ageing population. Examining physical functioning in middle age is crucial because there may be scope to intervene to delay or possibly reverse poor physical functioning before older ages when problems may be harder to alter.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2019

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Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product PerkinorTM
Generic Name Trihexyphenidyl HCl
  Strength 5 mg/5ml
  Dosage form Syrup
  Therapeutic Category Antiparkinsons
  Product Iracet XRTM
Generic Name



500 mg

Dosage form Tablet
Therapeutic Category Antiparkinsons
  Product MethigicTM
  Generic Name Methylprednisolone
Strength 2 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg
Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Systemic Corticosteroid

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