Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  16     ISSUE:  5   May 2018 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management







Hope that you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Eczema & Heart Risk !", "New Drug !", "Weight Loss & Skin Cancer !", "Gut Bacteria & Immunity !",  "Schizophrenia !", "Breast Cancer !".

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.

 Eczema & Heart Risk !

Severe Eczema May Be Linked to Heart Disease Risk

Sufferers of severe eczema may be at greater risk for heart attack, stroke and irregular heartbeat. Although the added risk is small, it's important from a public health perspective because eczema affects up to 10 percent of adults, the lead researcher said. Because this was an observational study, the lead researcher couldn't prove eczema caused the increased heart disease risk. But a large number of people included in the study, and the association appears strong. To quantify the risk, the researchers analyzed data for more than 385,000 adults (average age 43) with eczema. Each was matched with up to five people of similar age and gender who didn't have eczema. Patients were classified as having mild, moderate or severe eczema and were followed for an average of five years. Those with severe eczema had a 20 percent increased risk of stroke and a 40 percent to 50 percent greater risk of unstable angina, heart attack, atrial fibrillation and death from heart disease. This group also had a 70 percent increased risk for heart failure. These risks remained after the lead researcher accounted for such factors as weight, smoking and alcohol use. Severe and predominantly active atopic eczema are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular outcomes. Targeting cardiovascular prevention strategies among these patients should be considered. The findings may also shed light on the value of using costly new biologic drugs to control severe eczema. Exploring whether these drugs can reduce heart disease risks is the next step.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2018

Return to top

 New Drug !

 FDA approves new drug that prevents migraines without side effects

Aimovig, known generically as erenumab, is the first drug in a new class of headache medicines. It's been shown to stop migraine headaches before they start. The drug would be approved for patients who have tried other drugs and found no relief. In studies, it did not entirely prevent migraines, but reduced their frequency. Aimovig provides patients with a novel option for reducing the number of days with migraine, said lead researcher. FDA's approval means the drug may soon be available under prescription. It should also be paid for by health insurance. The price of Aimovig reflects the value it brings to patients and society, including the financial impact on sufferers, caregivers and employers, while also factoring in critical issues such as patient affordability, and fair and timely access. Erenumab the first in a new class of drugs that block calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a molecule that transmits migraine pain signals during an attack. It's a human monoclonal antibody a targeted immune system protein. It's formulated as an injection to provide long-lasting protection. More than 39 million Americans suffer from migraine attacks, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Of these, about 4 million have chronic migraine and suffer headaches for 10 to 14 days a month. While some people are helped by low cost, over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen, others need prescription medications, such as sumatriptan and ergotamine, which constrict the blood vessels in the brain and can cause dizziness or nausea. Botox injections are also used to help ease migraines in some people. But a large percentage of sufferers are not helped by anything. This is the first-ever mechanism specific migraine drug designed for prevention and this will change migraine treatment for those who donít respond to conventional treatments. The lead researcher found that the drug reduced the average number of monthly migraine headaches by more than 50 percent for nearly half of study participants. After three months, patients treated with the human antibody were nearly three times more likely to have reduced their migraine days by 50 percent or more than those treated with placebo. Participants of the study also had a greater average reduction in the number of days with headaches and the number of days they needed to take drugs to stop the migraines. No patients taking erenumab stopped treatment due to adverse side effects, but the lead researcher noted that more research will need to investigate if the benefits continue. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2018

Return to top

 Weight Loss & Skin Cancer !

Weight loss reduces skin cancer risk

Obesity is a known risk factor for many cancers. A recent study, involving over 2,000 bariatric surgery patients, asks whether losing weight could reduce the risk of melanoma. In the United States, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. In 2014 alone, there were almost 80,000 new cases, and by the end of 2018, it is estimated that there will be more than 90,000. Understanding the risk factors behind every type of cancer is important in our effort to minimize the population's risk at large. And, obesity has already been confirmed as a risk factor for a number of cancers, including endometrial, liver, kidney, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. The most obvious risk factor for skin cancer is unprotected sun exposure. However, according to earlier studies, obesity may also play a role. Recently, researchers set out to further investigate obesity's role in the risk of melanoma, a quick-growing form of skin cancer. Previous work has concluded that obesity increases both the risk and the growth rate of melanoma. To examine the link between obesity, weight loss, and melanoma, they took data from a project set up to monitor the outcomes of bariatric surgery compared against individuals using conventional obesity treatments. Participants were more than 2,000 individuals who had undergone obesity surgery and a similar number of control participants who were matched for a range of parameters, including age, sex, body measurements, personality traits, and cardiovascular risk factors. Their analysis demonstrated that those who had undergone surgery had a significantly lower risk of developing melanoma in the following 18 years. In fact, compared with the control group, individuals in the surgery group saw a 61 percent drop in their risk of developing malignant melanoma, and a 42 percent reduced risk of all types of skin cancer. The lead researcher said in this long-term study, bariatric surgery reduced the risk of malignant melanoma. This finding supports the idea that obesity is a melanoma risk factor, and indicates that weight loss in individuals with obesity can reduce the risk of a deadly form of cancer that has increased steadily in many countries over several decades. The link between skin cancer and obesity is somewhat surprising, and more work will be needed to uncover exactly why this is so. The findings mark yet another worrying health risk associated with obesity but also offer a potential route to reducing the dangers.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2018

Return to top

 Gut Bacteria & Immunity !

                                         Gut bacteria control cancer immunity in the liver

Lead researcher has discovered that gut bacteria control the growth of cancer in the liver through a previously unknown process. Working with mouse models, they found that gut bacteria can regulate the liver's immune response to both primary and metastatic tumors. Although previous studies had already revealed that the huge colonies of bacteria that live in the gut can influence how the immune system deals with cancer, it was not clear how this happened in the liver. The new study now reveals that a particular species of the Clostridium genus that is present in the gut can block antitumor activity in the liver by altering bile acids. Not only do they give new insights into the development of cancer in the liver, but the findings also raise the question of whether reducing the particular microbes might help the immune system to fight the cancer. These vast colonies of bacteria and other microorganisms have a big impact on human health and disease; they help the immune system to fight pathogens and they are essential for digestion and metabolism. In the liver, for example, they help to regulate the production of bile acids. Disturbance in the composition of gut microbiota has been linked to the development of many infections and diseases that cause inflammation, including those that affect the liver. There are two types of tumor that can develop in the liver: primary and secondary tumors. Primary liver tumors arise from cancer that starts in the liver. Secondary liver tumors or metastatic liver tumors are tumors that arise from cancers that start somewhere else in the body, such as the colon. The lead researcher explain that the liver intimately cross-talks with the gut and is continually exposed to byproducts of gut bacteria through contact with blood from the intestines. In fact, blood from the gut accounts for 70 percent of the liver's blood supply. With this together with the fact that gut microbiota can influence the liver's immune function and are involved in the production of bile acids, and that bile acids play a role in the development of liver cancer in mind, the researchers decided to investigate how all this comes together to influence the growth of liver tumors. By running tests in mouse models of primary and metastatic liver cancer, they discovered that treating the animals with antibiotics not only reduced their gut bacteria, but that it also led to smaller and fewer tumors. They also found that these effects coincided with an increase in the number of natural killer cells (NKCs) in the liver. NKCs are powerful killers of cancer cells. Further tests showed that the rise in NKCs was the result of antibiotics increasing expression of a cell protein called CXCL16, which summons NKCs. The cells with thisprotein form the tissue, or endothelium, that lines the tiny blood vessels that permeate the liver.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2018

Return to top

 Schizophrenia !

                                                                Scientists find cell types behind schizophrenia

The biology of schizophrenia is difficult to study, since hundreds of genes are implicated in the disease. But now, scientists have identified the few cell types behind the disease. Schizophrenia is a severe and disabling long-term mental illness that affects more than 21 million individuals worldwide. The disease impairs behavior and human attributes that many unaffected people might take for granted, such as perception, thinking, language, emotions, and having a sense of self. Common symptoms include: hallucinations, in which voices are heard and things are seen that others say are not there; and delusions, or holding onto beliefs that are false. Medical treatment and psychological support can be effective, but even with this help, managing one's way in the world with such a disabling burden can make it very hard to gain qualifications, hold down a job, and lead a productive life. Schizophrenia's causes are proving hard to pin down. Scientists believe that several factors may be involved, including interactions between genes and environment, such as problems during birth and exposure to viruses. Significant progress has been made in identifying the genetic factors, if we take into consideration the hundreds of genes that studies have now linked to schizophrenia. However, since each gene exerts but a small effect, this makes it very difficult to decide which ones to focus on in research experiments and treatment development. The focus of this recent study is on how cell types which can be characterized by gene maps relate to disease. Such lines of investigation are now possible thanks to a new tool called single-cell transcriptomics. Single-cell transcriptomics is transforming understanding of biology by allowing scientists to quantify levels of gene expression in single cells. For the new study, the researchers created gene expression maps for each cell type in the brain and compared them with the detailed list of the hundreds of schizophrenia-related genes. This helped them to identify the specific cell types that likely contribute most to the disorder, as well as those that are likely to contribute least.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2018

Return to top

 Breast Cancer !

                                                       Breast cancer: A low-fat diet may improve survivors' outlook

New research now suggests that consuming less dietary fat after being diagnosed with breast cancer may significantly improve a person's survival rate. Maintaining a low-fat diet over a long period of time could significantly improve the outlook for breast cancer survivors. Estimates show that around 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at one point in their lives. If the cancer is found only in the breast and has not spread to other parts of the body, 99 percent of the people who receive such a diagnosis go on to live cancer-free lives for a minimum of 5 years. And, if the cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, 85 percent of patients with breast cancer have the same 5-year survival rate. However, this rate drops to 27 percent if the cancer has traveled to distant parts of the body. But what are some of the factors that influence the survivors' outlook? Some studies have revealed that being obese, for example, raises the risk of breast cancer recurrence, even death, by 35Ė40 percent. The lead researcher set out to re-examine the results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized clinical trial, which showed a preliminary association between better overall survival and low-fat diet following a breast cancer diagnosis. The WHI trial then investigated 48,835 postmenopausal women who enrolled in the study between 1993 and 1998. At the time, however, the trial did not offer insights as to whether the improved outlook was due to the eating habits that the women had before developing breast cancer. Also, there was the possibility that a low-fat diet improved other health outcomes that are unrelated to breast cancer. Therefore, the longer lifespans could have been due to these other outcomes. Specifically, the lead researcher examined 19,541 women diagnosed with breast cancer who reduced their dietary fat intake by 20 percent and upped the amount of fruits and vegetables that they consumed. The lead researcher also examined a control group of 29,294 breast cancer patients who continued their usual diets. The dietary interventions lasted for 8.5 years, on average, while the analysis carried out by the researchers took place 11.5 years after their diagnosis, on average. The study revealed that breast cancer overall survival was significantly greater for women in the dietary intervention group than in the usual-diet comparison group. In fact, the 10-year survival rate for the women who consumed less fat was 82 percent, compared with 78 percent in the control group. Additionally, far fewer deaths were registered in the group that consumed less fat, compared with the usual-diet group. Specifically, 120 women died in the control group, compared with only 68 in the intervention group.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2018

Return to top



New 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

Return to top


Copyright © 2018 SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. All rights reserved.