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research-and-clinical-trials

Drug design for Parkinson’s disease starts here

Were drug design a road, it would surely be a Minnesota street fraught with potholes, ice and gravel.

Even the best ideas can fall by the wayside somewhere between the lab and your corner pharmacy in the process of drug discovery and development.

Recently, University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design member, organic chemist and assistant professor Liqiang Chen, Ph.D., published a paper in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry outlining the discovery of a potent and selective protein-inhibitor. Blocking the protein, Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2), also has the potential to block a primary contributor to Parkinson’s disease from causing harm.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New compound shows promise in treating chronic pain

A new compound in development at the University of Minnesota shows promise as a breakthrough drug for treating chronic pain.

The new compound, developed by Philip Portoghese, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy, appears to be the first of its kind. A patent has been applied for, and the University’s Center for Translational Medicine has been conducting proof-of-concept studies. As a potential medication, the compound offers benefits lacked by current medications: It does not induce the body to develop tolerance or dependence, as opioid painkillers do. It is more potent than other opioid pain medications. It reduces and inhibits neuropathic pain, post-operative pain, burn pain, spinal injury pain and inflammation.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New anti-HIV drug target identified by University of Minnesota researchers

University of Minnesota researchers have discovered a first-of-its-kind series of compounds possessing anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity. The compounds present a new target for potential HIV drug development and future treatment options.

Complete findings are printed in today’s issue of The Journal of Virology.

The compounds, known as ribonucleoside analogs 8-azaadenosine, formycin A, 3-deazauridine, 5-fluorocytidine and 2’-C-methylcytidine, were found to stop the replication and spread of HIV by blocking HIV DNA synthesis or by inducing lethal mutagenesis.

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research-and-clinical-trials

First pre-surgical breast cancer drug gets FDA approval

The FDA has just given approval to a biotech drug from Roche to be used as a pre-surgical treatment for one of the deadliest forms of breast cancer.

The drug, known as Perjeta, has doctors hoping they can shrink tumors earlier, making them easier to remove. This would allow more women to keep their breasts instead of pursuing a full mastectomy, as well as increase positive outcomes for patients…

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research-and-clinical-trials

Drug design success propels efforts to fight HIV with a combination of two FDA-approved drugs

A University of Minnesota research team featuring researchers from the Institute for Molecular VirologySchool of Dentistry and Center for Drug Design has developed a new delivery system for a combination of two FDA approved drugs that may serve as an effective treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The discovery, which allows for a combination of decitabine and gemcitabine to be delivered in pill form, marks a major step forward in patient feasibility for the drugs, which previously had been available solely via injection or intravenous therapy (IV).

The study, coauthored by Christine Clouser, Ph.D., Laurent Bonnac, Ph.D., Louis Mansky, Ph.D., and Steven Patterson, Ph.D., can be found “online first” in the journal Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy.

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news-and-notes

AHC game changer: Gunda Georg

Gunda Georg, Ph.D., is an esteemed researcher and professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota. As head of the Department of Medical Chemistry, Georg has made a tremendous impact in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry.

Georg is also the director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development and holds both the Robert Vince Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and McKnight Presidential Chair. This July she will receive the prestigious Volwiler Research Achievement Award for her research accomplishments.

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