Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  17     ISSUE:  5   May 2019 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management



Rubyeat Adnan




Hope that you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Genetic Switch !", "'Smart' Insulin !", "Nipah Virus Vaccine !", "Lung Ailments !",  "Antibiotic Alternatives !", "Newer Oral Contraceptive !".

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

We will appreciate your feedback !

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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.

 Genetic Switch !

Genetic switch controls conversion of bad to good fat

Fat cells are the bane of a dieterís existence, but fat is important. Previous studies showed the subcutaneous white fat cells can transform to brown and beige varieties when exposed to cold stress. These dusky forms of fat, burn energy more effectively to keep an organism warm. Researchers figured out a way to make more of these energy-burning fat cells & identified TLE3, a genetic switch that stops the conversion of white fat into these thermogenic varieties. Therapies that help lower blood glucose levels are gravely needed. Fat cells come in three varieties. White fat, the most common variety, is stored fat associated with metabolic disorders, like diabetes and obesity. Brown and beige fat contain more mitochondria, the energy centers of the cell, allowing these varieties to burn fuel more efficiently. Brown fat is activated in cold conditions and burned to create heat. Beige fat is found in bundles nestled within white fat, but little is known about it. Previous research found that white fat tissue that overexpresses early B-cell factor 2 (EFB2) recruits more beige fat cells, but this protein-coding gene is triggered by many factors. Researcher found that TLE3 acts like a switch, stopping EFB2 from converting white to beige fat and preventing energy expenditure and glucose use. In the absence of this gene, the knock-out mice recruited more beige fat cells. The researcher examined the impact of the abundance of beige fat on animal metabolism. Even without cold stimulation, the knock-out mice did not gain as much weight. Long-term needed to identify or develop drugs that will target TLE3 that can be used as an intervention for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The researcher team conducted their work in conjunction with the Metabolic Phenotyping Core at U of U Health and is part of the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center, an interdisciplinary program that supports research relating to diabetes, metabolism, and overall metabolic health.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2019

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 'Smart' Insulin !

'Smart' insulin could prevent hypoglycemia during diabetes treatment

Researcher has developed a new type of insulin, called i-insulin that could help prevent hypoglycemia in people who use the drug to manage diabetes. The treatment is being evaluated for potential clinical trials and, if successful, could change diabetes care & that can prevent blood sugar levels from dipping too low. Inside the body, insulin acts as a "key" to help glucose get into cells from the bloodstream. When insulin attaches to a cell's surface, it activates a protein inside the cell, called glucose transporter, which then makes its way to the cell's surface. This molecule then brings the surrounding glucose from the blood into the cell. The research team added an additional molecule to insulin to create the new smart insulin. This added molecule, called a glucose transporter inhibitor, chemically blocks the glucose transporter molecule that has come to the surface. Its presence doesn't block all glucose from entering, nor does it permanently block the transporter molecules. Instead, it's part of a dynamic process that depends on how many inhibitor and glucose molecules are present. The insulin lets glucose get into the cell, but the added inhibitor molecule prevents too much from going in when blood sugar is normal. This keeps blood sugar at normal levels and reduces the risk of hypoglycemia. This i-insulin can also rapidly respond to high glucose levels. The led researcher tested the smart insulin on mice with Type 1 diabetes. The i-insulin controlled glucose levels within the normal range for up to 10 hours after a first injection. A second injection three hours later extended the protection from hypoglycemia. The next step is to further evaluate the long-term biocompatibility of the modified insulin system in an animal model before determining whether to move to clinical trials.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2019

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 Nipah Virus Vaccine !

Developing a vaccine against Nipah virus

Nipah virus is a type of RNA virus transmitted from animals to humans. The infection causes severe respiratory illness and symptoms including cough, headache and fever, which can progress into encephalitis, seizure and coma. Currently, there is no approved vaccine against Nipah virus available on the market. In recent years, outbreaks, from bat-to-human or pig-to-human transmission, have been reported in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and India. The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore lists Nipah virus as a priority pathogen needing urgent action.In order to reduce the risk of Nipah virus becoming a global danger, it's essential to develope a safe and effective vaccine against the virus for humans and animals. Researcher developed a novel recombinant vaccine called NIPRAB that shows robust immunization against Nipah virus in animal models & took advantage of a modified rabies virus vector, and incorporated a gene from Nipah virus creating a viral particle that displays components of both viruses on its surface. The rabies vector is a well-established vaccine strain with little capacity to cause diseases in the nervous system. Because the immune system interacts with both viral components, it develops a reaction that is specific and can defend against both viruses. The researchers showed that the live vaccine was safe in mice, which had steady weight gain and no sign of neurological diseases. Researcher demonstrated that one dose of vaccine elicited a strong antibodies response against Nipah virus and rabies virus. Those antibodies also react to a virus from the same family as Nipah, the Hendra virus, which causes similar symptoms. In addition to the live version of the vaccine, which would be ideal for use in animals, the researchers also developed a chemically-killed version of the vaccine so that the viral replication was completely abolished. They found the inactivated vaccine induced as strong immunity as the live vaccine did, and would therefore be an ideal vaccine for immunocompromised individuals, such as HIV patients, pregnant women and children.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2019

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 Lung Ailments !

                                       Common genetic link in lung ailments

An international research team has identified a genetic connection between rheumatoid arthritis-associated interstitial lung disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. By uncovering this link is the genetic background between these conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease that affects about 1 percent of the population. While it is commonly associated with progressive impairment, systemic complications and increased mortality, up to 60 percent of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from pulmonary conditions known as interstitial lung disease, which causes progressive scarring of lung tissue, lung impairment, and death. Interstitial lung disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with RA. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common type of progressive lung fibrosis. Over time, the scarring gets worse and it becomes hard to take in a deep breath and the lungs cannot take in enough oxygen. The average length of survival of patients with IPF is three to five years, and a critical unmet need is to identify patients before the lung is scarred irreversibly. The study collected cases of patients from France, China, Greece, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United States. The number of study subjects totaled more than 6,000. The investigators found that a specific genetic characteristic, known as the MUC5B promoter variant rs35705950, which results in a marked increase production of mucus in the lung and is the strongest genetic risk factor for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is also the strongest risk factor for RA-interstitial lung disease. These findings will enable to identify those with rheumatoid arthritis who are at risk of pulmonary fibrosis and design interventions to potentially prevent patients with rheumatoid arthritis from developing progressive pulmonary fibrosis said by lead researcher.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2019

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 Antibiotic Alternatives !

                                                                Antibiotic alternatives to treat acne

Researcher said that Physicians are scaling back on prescribing antibiotics for long-term acne treatment in favor of combinations of therapies. Overuse of antibiotics also can promote the growth of resistant bacteria, which can make treating acne more challenging. The report noted that people who use topical and oral antibiotics were three times as likely to show an increase of bacteria in the back of their throat and tonsils compared with non-users. Long-term use of antibiotics in acne treatment also is associated with an increase in upper respiratory infections and skin bacteria and was shown to affect a user's blood-sugar level. However, doctors are increasingly exploring combinations of therapies instead of antibiotics for long-term treatment. Although acne is common in teens, it can continue into adulthood, affecting mainly women. The oral medication spironolactone is particularly effective in women. Although this medication, which is typically prescribed for high blood pressure, heart failure and swelling, is not FDA-approved for acne treatment, it is commonly used for disorders related to androgens, a group of sex steroid hormones. Since hormone imbalance can trigger acne, doctors are looking to hormonal therapies, which target androgens in the development of acne and have been shown to be effective, safe and require little continual monitoring. The researchers said laser and light therapies and regulating diet also show promise as non-antibiotic alternatives, but more research is needed. In severe acne, early intervention with the retinoid isotretinoin is effective without antibiotics. This oral medication is unique among acne therapies in that it has the potential to not just treat acne but to eradicate it. However, the researchers note, antibiotics remain highly effective for moderate to severe cases of inflammatory acne and are approved by the FDA as a supplement to other treatments such as benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2019

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 Newer Oral Contraceptive !

                       Newer contraceptive pills linked to reduced ovarian cancer risk in young women

New types of combined oral contraceptives (containing both lower doses of estrogens and newer progestogens) are associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, in young women. The results show that this positive effect strengthened with longer periods of use and persisted for several years after stopping, providing important reassurance for women, say the researchers. At least 100 million women worldwide are using hormonal contraception every day. Previous research has shown a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women who take combined oral contraceptives, but most of the evidence relates to the use of older products, containing higher levels of estrogen and older progestogens. Women who use newer oral contraceptives and other hormonal contraceptive methods also want to know whether they are likely to experience the same benefit. Researcher influenced of newer hormonal contraceptives (combined and progestogen-only products) on overall and specific types of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age. After taking account of several factors, including age and parity, the researchers found that the number of cases of ovarian cancer were highest in women who had never used hormonal contraception (7.5 per 100,000 person years), whereas among women who had ever used hormonal contraception, the number of cases of ovarian cancer were 3.2 per 100,000 person years. There was no firm evidence to suggest any protective effect among women who used progestogen-only products; although the researchers point out that few women were exclusive users of these products. The reduced risk for combined products was seen with nearly all types of ovarian cancer, and there was little evidence of important differences between products containing different types of progestogens. Similar results were also found among women followed up to their first switch in contraceptive type. Based on these figures, the researchers say that hormonal contraception prevented an estimated 21% of ovarian cancers in this group of women. This is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, but they do support the findings of studies of older products. Based on our results, contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age, with patterns similar to those seen with older combined oral products said by lead researcher. Lead researcher said that, Based on results, contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age, with patterns similar to those seen with older combined oral products & reduced risk seems to persist after stopping use, although the duration of benefit is uncertain. Presently, there is insufficient evidence to suggest similar protection among exclusive users of progestogen-only products.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2019

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Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Ocof TM
  Generic Name Dextromethorphan HBr + Phenylephrine HCl + Triprolidine HCl

(20 mg +10 mg +2.5 mg)/5 ml

Dosage form Syrup
  Therapeutic Category Cough and Cold
Product Deflacort TM
Generic Name


Strength 6 mg/5ml
Dosage form Suspension
Therapeutic Category Corticosteroid
  Product Ceftiben TM
Generic Name Ceftibuten
  Strength 90 mg/5 ml
Dosage form Powder For Suspension
  Therapeutic Category Cephalosporin

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