Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  13     ISSUE:  1  January  2015 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor,

Happy New Year 2015 !

Welcome to our online healthcare bulletin e- SQUARE.

In this issue, we focused on some interesting features like -
Altitude & Lung Ca !", "Depo-Provera Risk !", "Heart Risk Factors !", "Mind & Muscle !",  "New Antibiotic !", "Synthetic Oil !".

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

Please send your feedback !  We always value your comments !

On behalf of the management of SQUARE, we wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous life.

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.

 Altitude & Lung Ca !

                                                                        As Altitude Rises, Lung Cancer Rates Seem To Fall

Americans who live in the mountains seem to have lower rates of lung cancer than those closer to the beach -- a pattern that suggests a role for oxygen intake, researchers speculate. Their study of counties across the Western United States found that as elevation increased, lung cancer rates declined. For every 3,300-foot rise in elevation, lung cancer incidence fell by more than seven cases per 100,000 people, researchers reported. No one is saying people should head to the mountains to avoid lung cancer -- or that those who already live there are in the clear. One of the researchers on the study, agreed. "Should everyone move to a higher elevation?" he said. "No. I wouldn't make any life decisions based on this." But the findings do support the theory that inhaled oxygen could have a role in lung cancer, he added. As elevation increases, air pressure dips, which means people inhale less oxygen, he explained. And while oxygen is obviously vital to life, the body's metabolism of oxygen can have some unwanted byproducts -- namely, reactive oxygen species. Over time, those substances can damage body cells and contribute to disease, including cancer. Some recent research on lab mice has found that lowering the animals' exposure to oxygen can delay tumor development. But no one knows whether taking in less oxygen would affect humans' cancer risk. Study author and his colleague tried to account for other variables, such as county-by-county differences in sunlight exposure and air pollution -- neither of which explained the link between elevation and lung cancer. Nor did rates of smoking or obesity, or differences in counties' demographics, including education and income levels, and racial makeup. "We asked, can anything explain this better [than elevation]?" study author said. "And nothing else even came close." What's more, he said, there was no strong correlation between elevation and rates of several non-respiratory tumors: breast, prostate and colon cancers. That, said study author, suggests an "inhaled" risk factor is at work. He was quick to add, though, that no study can account for all the variables that sway cancer risk. A next step, he said, could be a "cohort study," analyzing data from individual people, as opposed to this county-by-county look. But it would take lab research to figure out whether oxygen exposure, specifically, might affect lung cancer development. According to the American Lung Association, the best ways to cut lung cancer risk are to avoid tobacco smoke, including secondhand exposure; test at home for radon; and make sure the proper protection against any chemical exposures at work.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2015

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 Depo-Provera Risk !

                                                          Depo-Provera Linked To Higher HIV Risk, Researchers Find

The injectable birth control Depo-Provera is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection in women, according to a review of research in Africa. Women who receive the so-called "birth control shot" have about 40 percent higher odds of becoming infected with HIV, compared to women using some other form of birth control or no birth control at all, researchers reported. However, the review's authors said that the increased risk does not outweigh the contraceptive benefits of Depo-Provera, particularly in the African nations where these studies took place. Banning Depo-Provera would leave many women in developing countries without immediate access to alternative contraceptive options, which would likely lead to more unintended pregnancies, lead author said. Because childbirth remains life-threatening in many developing countries, more women could die if they lose access to Depo-Provera, she said. "The risk we observe in our study would not be enough to remove Depo from women's contraceptive mix," she concluded. Researchers performed the evidence review based on concerns that hormonal contraception might increase a woman's risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. These concerns have led some African nations to consider removing Depo-Provera from their family planning programs. The current review included analysis of 12 studies including almost 40,000 women who were HIV-negative when the studies began. Two of the studies -- with a total of 2,100 women -- included couples where the woman's partner had already been diagnosed with HIV, according to the review. The researchers found oral contraceptive pills and other forms of hormonal contraception didn't increase the risk of HIV. But Depo-Provera was linked to increased odds of HIV infection, particularly when the analysis included women already at high risk, such as sex workers. Women in the general population had 31 percent increased odds of acquiring HIV, the authors found. Lead author differed with HIV experts over whether these findings are relevant to American women, given that the studies took place in Africa. She noted that more women depend on Depo-Provera in Africa than in the United States. The United States has many more birth control options that are readily available, according tolead author. In addition, HIV is much more prevalent in Africa, so women's overall exposure is higher there than in America, she added. "I don't think these findings have as much relevance when we think of U.S. contraceptive policy," she said. The increased HIV risk linked to Depo-Provera use might be explained either by biology or human nature, she said. But, she pointed out that this article didn't address those questions. The association seen in the study does not prove cause and effect. The hormones in Depo-Provera might cause changes in the vaginal wall, alter bacteria found in the vagina, or influence a woman's immune response -- any of which could increase risk of HIV, she said. It also could be that the women who use Depo-Provera may be younger, more sexually active and less likely to use condoms. "These things also place women at increased risk of HIV," she added. Future studies should focus on high-risk women who use Depo-Provera, including commercial sex workers or women who have a partner with HIV, she added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2015

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 Heart Risk Factors !

                                                              Cluster Of Heart Risk Factors Tied To Uterine Cancer Risk

A collection of health risk factors known as the "metabolic syndrome" may boost older women's risk of endometrial cancer, even if they're not overweight or obese, a new study suggests. Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of health conditions occurring together that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, high levels of triglyceride fats, overweight and obesity, and high fasting blood sugar. "We found that a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was associated with higher risk of endometrial cancer, and that metabolic syndrome appeared to increase risk regardless of whether the woman was considered obese," study author said. The study's design only allowed the investigators to find an association between metabolic syndrome and endometrial cancer risk. The researchers couldn't prove whether or not metabolic syndrome directly causes this cancer of the uterine lining. For the study, the researchers reviewed information on more than 16,300 American women diagnosed with endometrial cancer between 1993 and 2007. The study authors compared those women to more than 100,000 women without endometrial cancer. Overall, metabolic syndrome was associated with a 39 percent to 103 percent increased risk of endometrial cancer in women 65 and older, according to the study. The reason for the variation in risk is that health groups have different definitions for metabolic syndrome. Being overweight is a known risk factor for endometrial cancer. But, even after the researchers accounted for excess weight, metabolic syndrome was still linked to up to a 21 percent increased risk. The authors also said that each condition that contributes to metabolic syndrome was independently associated with increased risk for endometrial cancer. "Although our study was not designed to evaluate the potential impact of preventing metabolic syndrome on endometrial cancer incidence, weight loss and exercise are the most effective steps a woman can take to prevent developing metabolic syndrome," study author added. Nearly one-quarter of Americans without diabetes has metabolic syndrome, the researchers said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2015

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 Mind & Muscle !

                                                                                                 The Mind May Be A Muscle Booster

The mind can play a key role in maintaining muscle strength in limbs that are placed in a cast for a prolonged period of time, a new study suggests. The researchers said mental imagery might help reduce the muscle loss associated with this type of immobilization. Although skeletal muscle is a well-known factor that controls strength, researchers investigated how the brain affects strength development. In conducting the study, the study team set up an experiment to measure changes in wrist flexor strength among three groups of healthy adults. In one group, participants wore a rigid cast that completely immobilized their hand and wrist for four weeks. Of these 29 participants, 14 were told to routinely perform an imagery exercise. They had to alternate imagining that they were intensely contracting their wrist for five seconds with five seconds of rest. As they performed this imagery exercise, they were guided by the following instructions: "Begin imagining that you are pushing in as hard as you can with your left wrist, push, push, push . . . and stop. (Five-second rest.) Start imagining that you are pushing in again as hard as you can, keep pushing, keep pushing . . . and stop. (Five-second rest.)". These instructions were played four times and followed by a one-minute break. The participants completed 13 rounds per session. There were five sessions each week, the researchers said. The other half of the cast group did not perform any imagery. And 15 people who did not wear a cast served as a "control" group, according to the study authors. After four weeks, all of the participants who wore a cast lost strength in their immobilized hand and wrist, the study found. The researchers noted, however, that those who had performed mental imaging lost 50 percent less strength than the group that didn't do mental exercises. The nervous systems of those who performed imagery exercises also regained voluntary activation -- or the ability to fully activate the muscle -- more quickly than those who didn't, the findings showed. "Our findings that imagery attenuated the loss of muscle strength provides proof-of-concept for it as a therapeutic intervention for muscle weakness" and voluntary neural activation, the study authors wrote.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2015

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 New Antibiotic !

                                                                                New Antibiotic May Combat Resistant Bacteria

Laboratory researchers say they've discovered a new antibiotic that could prove valuable in fighting disease-causing bacteria that no longer respond to older, more frequently used drugs. The new antibiotic, teixobactin, has proven effective against a number of bacterial infections that have developed resistance to existing antibiotic drugs. Researchers have used teixobactin to cure lab mice of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a bacterial infection that sickens 80,000 Americans and kills 11,000 every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new antibiotic also worked against the bacteria that causes pneumococcal pneumonia. Cell culture tests also showed that the new drug effectively killed off drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, anthrax and Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes life-threatening diarrhea and is associated with 250,000 infections and 14,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the CDC. "My estimate is that we will probably be in clinical trials three years from now," study’s senior author said. He said researchers are working to refine the new antibiotic and make it more effective for use in humans. Most antibiotics are created from bacteria found in the soil, but only about 1 percent of these microorganisms will grow in petri dishes in laboratories, he added. Because of this, it's become increasingly difficult to find new antibiotics in nature. The 1960s heralded the end of the initial era of antibiotic discovery, and synthetic antibiotics were unable to replace natural products, the authors said in background notes. In the meantime, many dangerous forms of bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics, rendering useless many first-line and even second-line antibiotic treatments. Doctors must use less effective antibiotics that are more toxic and more expensive, increasing an infected person's chances of death. The CDC estimates that more than 2 million people are sickened every year by antibiotic-resistant infections. "Pathogens are acquiring resistance faster than we can come up with new antibiotics, and this of course is causing a human health crisis," he said. Senior author and his colleagues said they have figured out how to use soil samples to generate bacteria that normally would not grow under laboratory conditions, and then transfer colonies of these bacteria into the lab for testing as potential sources of new antibiotics. "Essentially, we're tricking the bacteria," he said. "They don't know that something's happened to them, so they start growing and forming colonies." A start-up company, NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass., used this technology to discover a group of 25 potential new antibiotics, Lewis said. Teixobactin "is the latest and most promising" of those new leads, he said. Teixobactin's potential effectiveness suggests that the new technology "is a promising source in general for antibiotics, and has a good chance of helping revive the field of antibiotic discovery," he explained. Teixobactin kills bacteria by causing their cell walls to break down, similar to an existing antibiotic called vancomycin, the researchers said. It also appears to attack many other growth processes at the same time, giving the researchers hope that bacteria will be unable to quickly develop resistance to the antibiotic. "It would take so much energy for the cell to modify that I think it's unlikely resistance will appear," study co-author said. The authors note that it took 30 years for resistance to vancomycin to appear, and they said it will probably take even longer for genetic resistance to teixobactin to emerge.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2015

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 Synthetic Oil !

Synthetic Oil May Help Patients With Huntington's Disease

Consuming a synthetic oil may help normalize brain metabolism of people with the incurable, inherited brain disorder known as Huntington's disease, a small new study suggests. Daily doses of a triglyceride oil called triheptanoin -- which 10 Huntington's patients took with meals -- appeared to boost the brain's ability to use energy, researchers said. The scientists also noted improvements in movement and motor skills after one month of therapy. Huntington's is a fatal disease causing the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Both the study's author and an outside expert cautioned that the new findings are preliminary and need to be validated in larger studies. Triheptanoin oil "can cross the blood-brain barrier and improve the brain energy deficit" common in Huntington's patients, study author said. "We know the gene mutation for Huntington's is present at birth and a key question is why symptoms don't start until age 30 or 40," he added. "It means the body compensates for many years until aging starts. So if we can help the body compensate ... it may be easier to see the delay of disease onset rather than slow the disease's progression." About 30,000 Americans exhibit symptoms of Huntington's, with more than 200,000 at risk of inheriting the disorder, according to the Huntington's Disease Society of America. Each child of a parent with Huntington's stands a 50 percent chance of carrying the faulty gene. The disorder causes uncontrolled movements as well as emotional, behavioral and thinking problems. Death usually occurs 15 to 20 years after symptoms begin. Study author and her team broke the study into two parts. In the first part, they used MRI brain scans to analyze brain energy metabolism of nine people with early Huntington's symptoms and 13 healthy people before, during and after they viewed images that stimulated the brain. The test was repeated one month later. In those without the disease, brain metabolism increased during visual stimulation, then returned to normal. In those with Huntington's, there was no change in their below-normal brain metabolism with visual stimulation. In the second part, 10 people with Huntington's, including five participants from the first part, received triheptanoin oil three or four times a day. The odorless, flavorless oil contains special fatty acids believed to provide an alternative energy source for the brain, since Huntington's patients do not metabolize glucose properly. Participants who had consumed the oil for a month underwent the visual stimulation test again, with researchers finding their brain metabolism normal. But the study was not "blinded," meaning that participants and researchers knew who was receiving the oil. This can lead to the so-called placebo effect, where patients report improvements based on their expectations. "In one month we saw some improvement [in motor skills]," Study author said, "but it could be placebo-related because there was no control group." Study author’s upcoming research, scheduled for launch this spring, seeks to accomplish that. It will include 100 Huntington's patients in a randomized study comparing triheptanoin oil to a placebo for six months before allowing all patients to receive the oil.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2015

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Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Zimax® 
  Generic Name Azithromycin
  Strength 250 mg
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Macrolide Antibiotic
  Product Pivalo®
Generic Name


Strength 4 mg
Dosage form Tablet
Therapeutic Category Lipid Lowering Agent
  Product Mevin®
  Generic Name Mebeverine
  Strength 200 mg
  Dosage form SR Capsule
  Therapeutic Category Antispasmodic

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