Pharmacology

Tranylcypromine, TCP, is an antidepressant drug used since the 1960s but may also hold promise for treating sickle cell disease, according to a new finding in mice and human red blood cells. 

They found that TCP can essentially reverse the effects of sickle cell disease. 


Neurim Pharmaceuticals has announced positive results from a phase II clinical study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Piromelatine (Neu-P11), a novel investigational multimodal sleep medicine developed for the treatment of patients with primary and co-morbid insomnia.

The new results are from a recent double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled, parallel group, non-confirmatory, sleep-laboratory study. The study evaluated piromelatine compared to placebo in 120 adult primary insomnia patients, ages 18 years and older. 



Lead is a common element found in old paints, soil, water and the atmosphere. At high doses it is lethal but also causes minor symptoms like headaches.

Small children are obviously impacted more and lead has been linked to irreversible damage to organs, kidneys in particular, and the nervous system including the brain. Now lead exposure is implicated in 'learning disabilities', behavioral problems, lowered intelligence, stunted growth, and hearing impairment.


Two new research papers signal how the next class of powerful medications may currently reside at the bottom of the ocean. 

Sea life studies could aid researchers in several ways, including the development of new medications and perhaps biofuels. Because many of these ocean animal species have existed in harmony with their bacteria for millions of years, these benign bacteria have devised molecules that can affect body function without side effects - and therefore better fight disease.


Sick children suffering dehydration from flu or other illnesses may risk significant kidney injury if given drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, according to researchers writing in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Jason Misurac, M.D., and colleagues from
Indiana University School of Medicine
and Butler University reported that nearly 3 percent of cases of pediatric acute kidney injury over a decade could be traced directly to having taken the common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Although small in terms of percentage of total kidney damage cases, they noted that the children with problems associated with NSAIDs included four young patients who needed dialysis, and at least seven who may have suffered permanent kidney damage.


Pregnant women who were vaccinated against pandemic influenza in 2009 were not at increased risk of experiencing fetal death, though pregnant women who contracted influenza had an increased risk of fetal death. 

During the swine influenza pandemic of that year, there were anecdotal reports of miscarriages and stillbirths occurring shortly after vaccination, so the Norwegian Institute of Public Health initiated a study to investigate if there was an association between pandemic influenza vaccination and the fetal deaths. 


 A new treatment, BETMIGA (mirabegron) has received approval from the European Commission (EC) for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms in adults.


Some years ago, I was a bit mystified as to the distinction between prebiotics and probiotics. 

These days, one can easily look them up on Wikipedia, and find that prebiotics are meant to encourage the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are supposed to deliver the bacteria directly. 

Kareus Therapeutics SA has announced the start of a Phase I clinical study following the Investigational New Drug (IND) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for the development of KU-046, a first-in-class disease modifying new chemical entity discovered for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease using Kareus' proprietary bioenergetics and KARLECT platforms. 

 The Phase I clinical trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled two-part study to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single ascending oral doses and of multiple ascending oral doses of KU-046 in 54 healthy young volunteers. The study is being conducted by Quintiles at its Phase I Unit at Overland Park in Kansas.