Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  11     ISSUE:  2  February   2013 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management

A. S. M. Shawkat Ali

MBBS, M. Phil





Dear Doctor:

Welcome to 'e-SQUARE' . Hope you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like

"Cancer Drug !", "Clot-Buster !", "Heart Valve Deposits !", "HIV Treatment !", "Pregnancy Complications !", "Zinc Fights Off Infection !".

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.

 Cancer Drug !

 Cancer Drug Doesn't Speed Up Tumor Growth, Researchers Say

The anticancer drug Sunitinib does not cause tumors to grow faster after treatment ends, according to a new study. Previous research in animals suggested that tumor growth may accelerate after patients stopped taking Sunitinib. The new findings, from a study of kidney cancer patients, indicate that the drug does not pose lingering risks for humans. The researchers analyzed data from a phase 3 clinical trial that led to Sunitinib approval. They concluded that regardless of how long patients took the drug, it did not cause harm, did not speed up tumor growth and survival was not shortened after treatment ended,  according to the findings. During treatment, Sunitinib slowed tumor growth and extended patients' lives, the investigators pointed out. Sunitinib, which is approved for the treatment of several different cancers, targets proteins on the blood vessels that feed tumors. Researchers hope that, the findings can be generalized to similar drugs but recognize that further studies will be needed.  Nevertheless, other drugs also approved worldwide for a variety of cancers including sorafenib, pazopanib, and axitinib-are similar to sunitinib, and this will give some reassurances that one need not expect things to get worse after such drugs are discontinued.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, February 2013

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 Clot-Buster !

'Clot-Buster' Drug May Still Be Best Stroke Treatment

The standard medical care for patients having an ischemic stroke is to give powerful ‘clot-busting’ drugs as soon as possible after the start of the stroke. But some hospitals are starting to rely on new treatment methods that actually go into the artery and retrieve the clot or destroy it at the site. According to a new study, however, these new methods collectively referred to as endovascular treatment are no better than the standard clot-buster drug known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Study findings do not provide support for the use of the more invasive and expensive endovascular therapy over intravenous treatment, said study author. The results indicate that standard, intravenous tPA is the first-line therapy for acute stroke. Ischemic strokes account for 87 percent of all strokes and are caused by a blockage in one of the blood vessels carrying blood to the brain. Studies have shown that administering tPA through an IV line within 4.5 hours of the onset of the ischemic stroke can greatly minimize damage to the brain and this is now widely viewed as the standard of care for this type of stroke. But endovascular strategies have shown a better rate of ‘recanalization,’ or opening the artery up. For this study, researchers randomly assigned 362 patients with acute ischemic stroke to undergo endovascular therapy or standard tPA administered intravenously. Endovascular therapy given in the study included administering tPA through the artery directly into the clot or retrieving or breaking up the clot mechanically, or a combination of both. All treatments occurred with 4.5 hours of the beginning of the stroke. After three months, about a third of patients in each group were alive and without disability. In other words, there was no difference in outcomes. In this study, endovascular treatment delayed initiation of treatment by one hour, study author said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, February 2013

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 Heart Valve Deposits !

Study Ties Gene To Dangerous Heart Valve Deposits

Researchers have identified a gene variant that doubles the risk of having calcium deposits on the heart's aortic valve. Severe aortic valve calcification can cause narrowing or blockage of the aortic valve, a condition called aortic stenosis, which can prevent the proper amount of blood from reaching the brain and the rest of the body. Researchers analyzed genetic data from thousands of people and found that a genetic variant of the LPA gene was strongly associated with having aortic valve calcification on a CT scan and increased the risk of developing aortic stenosis by more than 50 percent. The LPA gene codes for a type of cholesterol particle called lipoprotein (a), which circulates in the blood and is associated with increased risk of heart attack. Previous studies have linked lipoprotein (a) with aortic valve disease, but this study is believed to be the first to provide evidence that it may actually play a role in the disease. The findings could help explain why aortic valve calcification runs in families. It might also lead to the development of new drugs to slow the progression of the disease. This is an important step forward in understanding the biology of the development of aortic stenosis and how this common genetic variant, which is found in 7 percent of the general population, contributes to that risk,  said study senior author. Non-genetic risk factors for aortic valve calcification include older age, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels and smoking. Men are more likely than women to develop aortic valve calcification.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, February 2013

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 HIV Treatment !

Study Pinpoints Optimal Treatment Window For HIV

A new study shows the advantage of beginning antiretroviral therapy within four months of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 500 patients infected with HIV-1 and found that those who began antiretroviral therapy within four months of their infection date and had higher CD4+ T-cell counts at the start of therapy had a stronger recovery of key CD4+ T-cell counts than those who began treatment later. Normal CD4+ T-cell counts were restored in 64 percent of patients who began antiretroviral therapy within four months of infection, compared with 34 percent of patients who began treatment later. CD4+ T-cells -- specialized immune cells that fight infections are depleted in people with HIV, the researchers said. In the four months after a person is infected with HIV, the immune system tries to boost levels of CD4+ T-cells. After this temporary increase, levels of the cells begin to decline. This study suggests greater urgency to start antiretroviral therapy earlier, when the most weapons in the immunity armamentarium are at the body's disposal, said co-lead author study. Other experts agreed that the study points to the importance of early treatment. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2013

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 Pregnancy Complications !

Exposure To Smog In Early Pregnancy Linked To Complications

Women exposed to elevated levels of ozone air pollution in the first three months of pregnancy may be at increased risk for complications such as preeclampsia and premature birth, a new study suggests. Mothers with asthma may be most vulnerable, according to the report. Preeclampsia occurs when a woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. Left untreated, it can cause serious complications. Premature birth is delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy, the study authors noted in the report. For the study, researchers looked at data from nearly 121,000 single-baby pregnancies in Stockholm between 1998 and 2006, as well as air pollution records for the city during that time. Preeclampsia occurred in 2.7 percent of the pregnancies and 4.4 percent of them resulted in a premature birth, the investigators found. There was no association between levels of vehicle exhaust exposure and pregnancy complications, nor between any air pollutants and low birth weight among the babies, found in the study. However, the researchers did find evidence of a link between exposure to ozone air pollution during the first three months of pregnancy and the risk of preeclampsia and premature birth. The risk for each rose by 4 percent for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter rise in exposure to ozone during the first trimester. About one in 20 cases of preeclampsia was linked to ozone exposure during early pregnancy, according to the report.The study also found that mothers with asthma were 10 percent more likely to develop preeclampsia and 25 percent more likely to have a premature birth than those without asthma. Although the study found an association between first-trimester exposure to high ozone levels and preeclampsia and premature birth, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, February 2013

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 Zinc Fights Off Infection !

Scientists Explore How Zinc Fights Off Infection

Many Americans take zinc supplements to zap colds and a new study seeks to explain how the mineral works. Zinc helps fight infections by balancing the immune system's response, according to the study. Zinc deficiency affects about 2 billion people worldwide, including roughly 40 percent of the elderly in the United States. It can have severe consequences among vulnerable people, the researchers noted. Red meat and poultry are rich in zinc, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Other foods that contain zinc are beans, nuts, some shellfish, whole grains, fortified cereals and dairy products. The essential mineral works by stopping the action of a protein known to play an important role in the immune response to infection. As a result, it prevents out-of-control inflammation, the researchers said. A zinc deficiency at the time of an infection, particularly sepsis-a devastating systemic response to infection common among patients in a hospital's intensive care unit or ICU could be damaging or even deadly, according to the investigators. Researchers believe that to some extent, these findings are going to be applicable to other important areas of disease beyond sepsis. Without zinc it could increase vulnerability to infection. After analyzing human cell culture and animal studies, the researchers found that a specific protein draws zinc into infection-fighting cells where it balances the immune response. In a previous animal study it was found that unlike mice on a normal diet, those deficient in zinc developed significant inflammation in response to sepsis. However, it's uncertain for now if very sick ICU patients would benefit from zinc supplements. The question is whom to give zinc to, if anybody at all. Not everybody in the ICU with sepsis needs zinc, but researchers anticipate that a proportion of them would. Usually, if there is zinc deficiency, it needs to see other nutrient deficiencies, too. The findings could help explain why taking zinc supplements at the start of a cold seems to ease the effects of the illness. There might be therapeutic implications about giving supplemental zinc in a strategic manner to help improve some people with certain conditions. Most adults should get 8 milligrams to 11 milligrams of zinc daily. With supplements, the researchers noted it is possible but relatively uncommon to consume toxic levels of zinc.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, February 2013

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Suzyme
  Generic Name Pancreatin
  Strength 325 mg
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Digestive Enzyme
  Product Orostar Original 120, 250 Mouthwash 
Generic Name

Menthol+Thymol+Eycalyptol+Methyl Salicylate



Dosage form Mouthwash
Therapeutic Category Antiseptic Mouthwash
  Product Orostar Coolmint 120, 250 Mouthwash
  Generic Name Menthol+Thymol+Eycalyptol+Methyl Salicylate
  Strength 0.042%+0.064%+0.06%+0.092%
  Dosage form Mouthwash
  Therapeutic Category Antiseptic Mouthwash

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