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VOL.  14     ISSUE:  6  June  2016 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor:

Welcome to this edition of 'e-SQUARE' !

Hope you are enjoying this healthcare online !

This issue features the articles including "Dengue & Zika !", "Fiber & Aging !", "New Drug !", "'Love Hormonr' !", "Parents & Kids !", "Five Genes !".

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

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

 Dengue & Zika !

                                                                                           Dengue Virus May Bolster Zika's Attack

Prior exposure to the dengue fever virus may increase the severity of Zika virus, a new study says. Early stage laboratory findings suggest this connection between the two viruses may help explain the current Zika outbreak in Latin American and Caribbean countries, according to the international team of researchers. Dengue and Zika belong to the Flaviviridae family of viruses and are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. "Although this work is at a very early stage, it suggests previous exposure to dengue virus may enhance Zika infection," study senior author said. "This may be why the current outbreak has been so severe, and why it has been in areas where dengue is prevalent. We now need further studies to confirm these findings, and to progress towards a vaccine," study author said in a college news release. In recent decades, cases of dengue fever have increased sharply. The virus is believed to cause about 390 million infections a year, and about half of the world's population is at risk of dengue, according to the World Health Organization. Like Zika, it is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates. The researchers said that once someone has had dengue exposure, Zika may use the body's own immune defenses as a "Trojan horse" in order to enter cells undetected. Once inside the cell, Zika replicates rapidly. "We can't say yet whether this interaction is playing a role in the current outbreak, but if confirmed it's likely to have important implications for the control and global spread of Zika, and for the development of any vaccine for the virus," said the director of the Wellcome Trust, a medical research charity. The Trust funded the study, published June 23 in Nature Immunology. Although most people infected by Zika suffer only mild symptoms, in pregnancy it can cause severe birth defects, including brain damage. In another study, the same research team found that an antibody that's effective against dengue may also counter Zika. The researchers believe this finding that could aid efforts to develop a vaccine against Zika. These findings were published June 23 in the journal Nature. Zika and dengue "share many similarities in their genetic makeup, transmission pattern and in the immune response they trigger," he added. "These new studies suggest that prior infection with dengue doesn't offer any protection against Zika, and may in fact predispose people to a more severe infection," he said. For now, there are more questions than answers about Zika and this group of viruses, including dengue, he added. "We know that Zika has been present in Southeast Asia and Africa for many years and yet has not taken off there as it has in South America. This is what the international research effort needs to work out, and quickly," he said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2016

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 Fiber & Aging !

                                                                                             Fiber: The Rx for Disease-Free Aging

Foods rich in fiber not only keep one "regular," they may help to live longer without disease, new research suggests. Among more than 1,600 Australian adults, the top fiber consumers were 80 percent more likely to remain fully functional and disease-free as they aged, the study found. Fiber-rich foods include fruits and whole grains. "Our observations need to be confirmed by other large studies, and we can't make recommendations at this stage such as pushing for a more plant-based diet," said study lead author said. Still, researcher and her colleagues weren't surprised by the findings, "given that there are numerous studies showing fiber's protective influence against a host of chronic diseases," she said. "Successful aging" was defined in the study as the continued absence of physical disability, depression, breathing problems, or chronic health issues such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. "People can achieve the recommended intake of fiber consumption -- around 30 grams per day -- by eating a wide range of foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes," she noted. The researchers tracked the study participants, who were 49 years and older, for a decade starting in 1994. At the start, all were free of cancer and heart disease. Surveys assessed dietary routines, with a specific focus on fiber, carbohydrates and sugar intake. By those measures, the study team concluded that 15.5 percent of the participants had aged "successfully" over the 10-year time frame. By contrast, those whose fiber consumption was pegged at below-average levels were least likely to have aged well. Blood sugar levels and the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels did not seem to play a role in how successfully people aged, the team noted. The researchers also found that only 25 percent of study participants were meeting daily fiber intake recommendations. Study author said this accurately reflects general population habits. "Based on our study we can't exactly pinpoint as to how fiber influences aging status," she added. But she said that her team speculates that fiber may affect blood sugar levels, minimizing inflammation throughout the body. "Inflammation is a key factor in aging and many chronic conditions. Also, fiber is known to increase satiety, which is likely to explain some of its health benefits," she explained. The study results were published recently in the Journals of Gerontology.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2016

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 New Drug !

Experimental Genital Herpes Drug Shows Promise

An experimental immune-boosting treatment for genital herpes shows promise, researchers report. The drug, called GEN-003, may reduce both virus activity and the number of days with recurrent herpes in patients. The treatment is given in a series of three injections and appears to last for up to one year, the investigators said. The researchers tested the vaccine on 310 people with a history of chronic, recurrent genital herpes. The findings were to be presented Monday at an American Society for Microbiology meeting in Boston. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. "GEN-003 is believed to work through a different pathway from most vaccines by recruiting T-cells, which are critical to controlling chronic infections such as herpes," study author said. The vaccine also stimulates antibodies against the virus, he explained. The importance of these clinical findings is that it represents a new approach to treatment, and may provide a new option for patients suffering from chronic, recurrent genital herpes," said. Genital herpes is common in the United States, affecting about one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years. Current treatments for the sexually transmitted disease consist of antiviral medications. There is no cure for herpes, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "GEN-003 is expected to be tested in combination with antiviral medications to potentially provide a level of relief not currently achievable," said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2016

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 'Love Hormone' !

                                                                            'Love Hormone' Gene May Be Key to Social Life

Lower activity of a specific gene may affect a person's social behavior, including the ability to form healthy relationships, researchers say. The OXT gene is involved in the production of oxytocin, a hormone linked with a large number of social behaviors in people. It's sometimes referred to as the "love hormone." The University of Georgia team assessed more than 120 people, conducting genetic tests and assessments of social skills, brain structure and brain function. The investigators found that those with lower activity of the OXT gene had a harder time recognizing emotional facial expressions and tended to be more anxious about their relationships with loved ones. These low-OXT people also had less activity in brain regions associated with social thinking. And they had less gray matter in an area of the brain important for face processing and social thinking, the study found. "All of our tests indicate that the OXT gene plays an important role in social behavior and brain function," lead author said. These are preliminary findings and further studies are needed, but this research could lead to new and better treatments for a number of social disorders, study author said. The study was published June 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2016

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 Parents & Kids !

Hovering Parents May Harm Kids  

Children with "intrusive" parents who push too hard for good grades may be more prone to become highly self-critical or anxious and depressed, a new study suggests. "When parents become intrusive in their children's lives, it may signal to the children that what they do is never good enough," study leader said. The five-year study of primary school students in Singapore found that those whose parents acted intrusively, had high expectations of academic performance or overreacted when the child made a mistake were at increased risk of being overly critical of themselves. The researchers also found that children who were highly self-critical had higher levels of anxiety or depression symptoms, although the study did not prove that parental pressure caused anxiety or depression. "As a result, the child may become afraid of making the slightest mistake and will blame himself or herself for not being 'perfect,'" he said in a university news release. "Over time, such behavior, known as maladaptive perfectionism, may be detrimental to the child's well-being as it increases the risk of the child developing symptoms of depression, anxiety and even suicide in very serious cases," he explained. For the study, the researchers studied 7-year-old children from 10 schools in Singapore, as well as one of their parents. The parent's intrusiveness was assessed with an assignment where the child -- with a parent's help -- had to solve some puzzles within a time limit. A parent was deemed very intrusive if he or she interfered with the child's problem-solving and took control over the puzzle. Follow-up assessments with similar tests were carried out each year with the same kids and parents. Researchers recorded each child's signs of maladaptive perfectionism and self-critical behaviors. "Our findings indicate that in a society that emphasizes academic excellence, which is the situation in Singapore, parents may set unrealistically high expectations on their children," he added. Parents need to be careful not to push children too hard for good grades. "Children should be given a conducive environment to learn, and part of learning always involves making mistakes and learning from them. When parents become intrusive, they may take away this conducive learning environment," he noted. The findings were published online recently in the Journal of Personality.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2016

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 Five Genes !

                                                                                        Five New Genes Linked to Colon Cancer

Scientists have identified five new gene mutations that may be tied to colon cancer. The findings are from an analysis of genes from more than 1,000 people with colon cancer. The links between these five gene mutations were very rare, so further research is needed to confirm if they're actually associated with colon cancer. The study authors also concluded that all the major genes that significantly increase the risk of colon cancer have been identified. "Our study is the largest ever conducted of the genetics of bowel cancer, and sets out a detailed map of the disease that could lead us to new ways of treating or preventing it," study leader said in an institute news release. "The research closes one chapter in the study of bowel cancer, by concluding that all the major risk genes have now been found. But, it opens another by underlining the importance of tracking down the many missing genetic variations which each have a very small effect alone, but together make the biggest impact on inherited risk," he explained. Every cancer gene that's been found, as well as those genetic variants that may continue to be found, gives researchers new insight into the underlying biology of colon cancer. These discoveries also help to assess people for their risk of colon cancer, researcher said. "This study represents an important contribution to our understanding of the genetics of bowel cancer. It provides a marker of the dramatic progress we have made so far in decoding the inherited risk of the disease, and gives us confidence that the most important risk genes have now been found," chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, said. The study was published June 22 in the journal Nature Communications.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2016

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Lubgel Eye Drops
Generic Name Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium
  Strength 1%
  Dosage form Eye Drops
  Therapeutic Category Artificial Tears
  Product Canaglif
Generic Name



100 mg

Dosage form Tablet
Therapeutic Category Antidiabetic
  Product Femastin
  Generic Name Estriol
  Strength  0.1%
  Dosage form Cream
  Therapeutic Category Hormone Replacement Therapy  

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