Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  14     ISSUE: 8  August  2016 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management






Dear Doctor,

Welcome to 'e-SQUARE'.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -
Zika Alert !", "Cancer Survival !", "DNA & Depression !", "ω-3 & Heart Attack !",  "Frozen Embryos !", "Pre-Dementia !".

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

We will appreciate your feedback !

Click on to reply mode.

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.

 Zika Alert !

Zika Linked to Deformed Limbs in Newborns

The Zika virus has already been linked to serious birth defects in the brain, and now it looks as if the virus may also cause deformities of joints in the arms and legs of newborns, a new study suggests. The condition called arthrogryposis causes multiple joints to be contracted or curved. This condition hadn't previously been linked to Zika, although two previous reports suggested there might be an association with the virus, researchers said. The study authors still can't say for sure that Zika caused the arthrogryposis. But all of the babies had the pattern of abnormalities on their brain scans that would be expected with a congenital Zika syndrome, said lead researcher. The researchers don't know exactly how Zika might cause these deformities. In the current cases, the arm and leg defects weren't caused by problems in the joints themselves instead, the researchers suspect that problems in nerve cells that control movement caused the babies to stay in fixed positions in the womb, which led to the deformities. Until recently, no reports of an association between a congenital (from birth) viral infection and arthrogryposis had been seen, lead researcher said. Researchers studied brain and joint images of seven children with arthrogryposis in Brazil. All the children had been diagnosed with a congenital infection, most likely caused by the Zika virus. The children were also tested to rule out five other main infectious causes of microcephaly -- toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, rubella, syphilis and HIV. None of the children had these infections. Brain scans showed that all of the children had signs of brain calcification, a condition in which calcium builds up in the brain. One theory is that Zika virus kills brain cells and forms scar-like lesions in the brain on which calcium is deposited, the researchers said. Follow-up studies to determine the exact mechanism responsible for these complications and to firmly identify Zika as a cause will be needed, concluded by researcher.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, August 2016

Return to top

 Cancer Survival !

Two Genes Might Help Predict Breast Cancer Survival

According to British researchers report, the activity of two genes may help predict certain breast cancer patients' chances of survival and guide their treatment. Researcher seen major strides in the treatment of breast cancer, but once it begins to spread round the body it is still often fatal. This new study helps to understand some of the processes that control how breast cancers spread, and identifies a pattern of genetic activity that could be used to pick out women particularly at risk. In the study, researchers looked at tumors from nearly 2,000 breast cancer patients. They focused on HER-2 positive breast cancers, which account for about 20 percent of breast cancers. Lead researcher found that patients whose tumors had high activity in a gene called F12, but low activity in a gene called STC2, were three times more likely to die within 10 years, compared to patients with different patterns of activity in these two genes. Specific patterns of gene activity may play an important role in enabling breast cancer cells to spread throughout the body, the researcher’s concluded. The findings might be used to develop tests for aggressive breast cancers or to identify new targets for treatment, the study authors said. This study sheds light on how cancer cells unstick themselves from healthy tissue, and it could help pick out women at high risk of their cancer spreading and becoming fatal. The next step is to see if these patients would benefit from additional treatment, such as additional chemotherapy. Also, if researchers have a better understanding as to why cells can metastasize and grow elsewhere, helps to develop treatments aimed at preventing this behavior. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, August 2016

Return to top

 DNA & Depression !

Scientists Spot 15 Regions of Human DNA Linked to Depression

Researchers say they've identified 15 regions of human DNA associated with depression. These regions may contain genes that increase the risk of depression, said the researchers, although the study does not prove these genes cause depression. Identifying genes that affect risk for a disease is a first step towards understanding the disease biology itself, which gives us targets to aim for in developing new treatments. More generally, finding genes associated with depression should help make clear that this is a brain disease, which will decrease the stigma still associated with these kinds of illnesses. The researchers analyzed data from more than 300,000 people of European ancestry that was collected by the consumer genetic profiling company. More than 75,000 of the people in the study had been diagnosed with or treated for depression. The analysis pinpointed 15 regions of DNA, including 17 specific sites, significantly associated with depression risk. Several of these sites are located in or near genes known to be involved in brain development. The neurotransmitter-based models currently using to treat depression are more than 40 years old, and really need new treatment targets. Lead researcher hope that finding these genes will point towards novel treatment strategies. Another key takeaway of this study is that the traditional way of doing genetic studies is not the only way that works. Using existing large data sets or biobanks may be far more efficient and may be helpful for other psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders, where traditional approaches also have not been successful.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, August 2016

Return to top

 ω-3 & Heart Attack !

High Doses of Fish Oil Might Help Healing After Heart Attack

Heart attack patients who took high doses of fish oil supplements for six months showed improved heart function and less scarring. It is not yet precisely known how the large amounts of omega-3(ω-3) fatty acids in these supplements might have helped the healing process, but the results are encouraging. In this study, 360 heart attack survivors were followed for six months. Half of them were given 4 grams of omega-3(ω-3) fatty acid supplements daily for six months, while the other half were given placebo pills. A patient might typically prescribed 1 to 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acid supplements a day if the patient has high triglyceride levels. Using MRIs of the heart, the researchers found there was a 6 percent improvement in both heart function and scarring in undamaged parts of the organ among patients who took 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily. Previous studies regarding lower doses of omega-3 fatty acids in heart attacks had yielded mixed results. The value of the study suggests that fish oil supplementation at the 4-gram daily dose may help with the heart healing process after a heart attack, and suggests that further studies may require. Lead researcher hopes more studies of omega-3 fatty acids and heart attack recovery can discover why the higher doses produced more positive results. Researchers prompted to conduct the study after improved MRI technology made it possible to take a closer look at heart function and scarring of undamaged parts of the muscle. Omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids may permit the heart to contract more easily and reduce swelling in undamaged regions. Omega-3 (ω-3) fish oils contain fatty acids that the body needs but cannot produce itself. The study suggest that high doses of omega-3 (ω-3) can help improve recovery after a heart attack is a provocative finding, although the research was not designed to prove that high doses of the supplement could actually lower the risk of death after heart attack. No matter how future studies on omega-3 turn out, heart attack patients must still pay strict attention to proper diet, exercise and ways to reduce stress. People should consult their physician before taking any type of supplement.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, August 2016

Return to top

 Frozen Embryos !

Frozen Embryos May Boost Pregnancy Odds for Some Women

For some women seeking infertility treatment, the use of frozen embryos rather than fresh ones appears to improve the chances for a successful pregnancy. For the study, lead researcher and his colleagues randomly assigned more than 1,500 infertile Chinese women who had polycystic ovary syndrome and who were having their first IVF cycle to use either fresh embryo transfer or frozen embryo transfer. The lead researcher found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edge, had better odds of having a baby on the first try when frozen embryos were used (49 percent) than when fresh embryos were implanted (42 percent).At the same time, there was a slightly higher risk of potentially dangerous high blood pressure during pregnancy, and newborn death, in women who received frozen embryos, the findings showed. Lead researcher said, "Perhaps elective embryo freezing followed by frozen embryo transfer is a preferential treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Using fresh embryos is generally preferred over frozen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF). But, some evidence has suggested that using frozen embryos may improve the birth rate among women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Using frozen embryos may also lower the rate of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, in which the ovaries swell and become painful, and other pregnancy complications, the researchers noted. “For example, estrogen levels are 10 times higher than normal during ovarian stimulation, and IVF at those high levels can prevent embryos from implanting in the uterus," top researcher explained. Using frozen embryos allows time for hormone levels in the uterus to return to normal, thus improving the chances of successfully implanting an embryo. But the top researcher cautioned that since only women with polycystic ovary syndrome were studied, more research is needed on using frozen embryos in women without the condition.  

SOURCE: HealthDay News, August 2016

Return to top

 Pre-Dementia !

Acupuncture May Slow Pre-Dementia Memory Loss

Acupuncture may benefit people who have memory loss, but don't yet have dementia, suggests a review by researchers of five earlier studies. Nothing has yet been proven to halt the progression to dementia in those who are destined to progress. But, acupuncture used alone or along with another treatment, such as the medication nimodipine, might help retain some memory function, the researchers said. But several doctors not involved with the review said it was too soon to say that acupuncture might be effective against dementia. The trials included nearly 600 people with mild cognitive impairment, a type of memory loss that's considered pre-dementia. About 5 percent to 10 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment develop dementia each year, the study authors noted. The researchers concentrated on people who had a specific form of mild cognitive impairment called amnestic. People with this type of impairment are even more likely to develop dementia, the review authors said. The studies compared the benefit of acupuncture alone versus nimodipine or looked at the two treatments together compared to nimodipine alone. Patients received treatment three to five times a week for eight weeks in four trials. The fifth trial lasted for three months. The combined data from all five trials showed that those receiving acupuncture did better than those on nimodipine alone. The acupuncture patients scored better on two tests of memory and dementia: the mini-mental state exam (a 30-point questionnaire that measures mental impairment), and picture recognition. In addition, the combination of acupuncture and nimodipine improved scores on the mini-mental state exam compared with nimodipine alone, the researchers found. Three trials reported side effects, which for acupuncture included fainting during treatment and slow bleeding at the needle sites. Side effects reported for nimodipine included nausea, constipation and mild headache, according to the report. Another researcher suggested that some of the benefit seen from acupuncture might be a placebo effect.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, August 2016

Return to top


New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Product LubgelTM
Generic Name Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium 1%
  Strength 1%
  Dosage form Eye Drop
  Therapeutic Category Artificial Tear
Product UrsoTM
Generic Name

Ursodeoxycholic Acid BP

Strength 150mg & 300mg
Dosage form Oral
Therapeutic Category Bile Therapy & colagogues
Product MaxbonTM
  Generic Name Ibandronic Acid
  Strength 150mg
  Dosage form Oral
  Therapeutic Category Bisphosphonate

Return to top


Copyright © 2016 SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. All rights reserved.