Medicine & Healthcare Pharmaceutical sciences
15 May 2023
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Nano Letters how high-speed atomic force microscopy leads to insights into processes relevant to Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the technique is shown to be an excellent tool for studying the effect of drugs against the disease.
15 May 2023
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) high-speed atomic force microscopy experiments that show how ligands associated with stimulating and suppressing activation of the TRPV1 protein increase and decrease the molecule’s structural variations. The observations provide insights into how these heat- and chilli-sensing proteins function.
10 May 2023
A new drug delivery system delivers an antioxidant directly to mitochondria in the liver, mitigating the effects of oxidative stress.
02 Mar 2023
Lipid nanoparticles have been used to encapsulate CRISPR-Cas9 and deliver it to cells in mice, where it was highly effective at knocking down expression of a target protein.
08 Feb 2023
Hokkaido University researchers have developed a novel method to design and develop peptide antibiotics in large numbers, which will prove critical to controlling antibiotic resistance.
02 Feb 2023
Researchers from Osaka University have used single carbon atom doping to form four chemical bonds in one step. Gamma-lactams (cyclic molecules that are common in antibiotics) were easily synthetically accessible from alpha, beta-unsaturated amides (an important molecule in cancer progression). The team chemically modified an anti-seizure medication in 96% yield, highlighting the work's utility to otherwise synthetically complex aspects of pharmaceutical development. The results of this work could become foundational to drug discovery and development.
13 Jan 2023
Researchers led by Osaka University demonstrated the role of endothelial cell-specific protein Roundabout4 (Robo4) in the reduction of vascular permeability and mortality in mouse models of severe infection. The research team identified a drug inhibitor that increased Robo4 expression and reduced mortality in sepsis and SARS-CoV-2 mouse models of infection. These findings may aid in the development of drugs to reduce the mortality rate of severe infectious diseases.
20 Dec 2022
Researchers have designed and synthesized analogs of a new antibiotic that is effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria, opening a new front in the fight against these infections.
10 Nov 2022
A novel branched lipid that has a high stability in storage and a high efficiency in the delivery of mRNA to cells has been developed.
09 Nov 2022
Researchers from Osaka University and Dusseldorf University have found a new theranostic compound that effectively shrinks prostate tumor in mice. Theranostics is a cancer treatment that involves finding cancer cells anywhere in the body and delivering targeted radiation to kill those cells, by drugs that contain radioactive isotopes. It means that this compound could be a promising option for treating hormone-resistant metastases in patients with recurrent cancers. This is stated to be tested in an upcoming clinical trial.
31 Oct 2022
A research group at Osaka Metropolitan University has developed a drug delivery system that activates a strong cellular immune response to attack cancer cells, using one-tenth of the amount of antigen needed in the group’s previous work. By incorporating positively charged cationic lipids into liposomes and adding negatively charged pH-responsive polysaccharides to the surface, the research group increased the uptake efficiency of liposomes encapsulating cancer antigens by dendritic cells by approximately five times, which increased cytokine production by about 100 times. This increased M1-type macrophages, which activate cancer immunity, and decreased M2-type macrophages, which promote cancer growth.
24 Jan 2022
Broccoli may contain advantages beyond nutrition. A molecule found in broccoli, cabbage and more digests down into DIM, a compound with brighter benefits than the name implies, such as inducing cell death in breast, prostate and colon cancer. Now, researchers are beginning to understand the mechanism underpinning this molecular behavior — information that could help elucidate future anti-cancer treatments.
27 Dec 2021
Researchers from Osaka City University have shown in mice models of Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, that the intranasal administration of rifampicin and resveratrol in combination is safer and improves cognitive function more than rifampicin alone. The research results are expected to lead to the development of safe and effective nasal spray for the prevention of dementia.
17 Sep 2021
A specially designed lipid nanoparticle could deliver immune-signaling molecules into liver macrophage cells to overcome resistance to anti-tumor immunotherapy.
10 Sep 2021
Researchers have identified a potential reason why lower numbers of COVID cases have appeared amongst smokers compared to non-smokers, even as other reports suggest smoking increases severity of the disease.
02 Sep 2021
Researchers at Kanazawa University describe in Scientific Reports the identification of small compounds that can regulate the cellular production of extracellular vesicles — nanocontainers transporting biomolecules between cells. Such compounds hold promise for use in therapies for various diseases.
30 Jul 2021
Testing a large library of compounds reveals an easy-to-make lipid that can carry genetic code into the lung to treat disease.
23 Dec 2020
A stress response of mitochondria, the part of our cells that produce energy to power bodily functions, is important to a longer life. A team of scientists from Osaka City University, Japan, searched through a chemical “library” of existing drugs to find one that can activate this stress response in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. They found that an anti-hypertension drug called metolazone prolongs C. elegans lifespan, marking the first step in developing anti-aging pharmaceuticals.
28 Sep 2020
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba demonstrate that the hypnotic and teratogenic effects of thalidomide are separable. Thalidomide is a medication with several different effects, one of which is promoting sleep in the context of insomnia. In a new study, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have discovered that thalidomide exerts its hypnotic effects through mechanisms distinct from those for the drug’s notorious teratogenicity. These are striking results showing how thalidomide induces sleep independently of its known effects on the teratogenic cereblon pathway. These findings could be helpful in developing novel thalidomide-like hypnotic drugs without thalidomide’s teratogenic effects. The study was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
18 Sep 2020
Drugs tackling chronic myelogenous leukemia have completely transformed prognoses of patients over the last couple of decades, with most cases going into remission. But drug resistance can occur, leading to relapses. Targeting the lipids involved in regulating part of a leukemia stem cell’s life span offers a potential second route to defeat the disease—and solid tumorous cancers as well.
20 Aug 2020
A new catalyst design enables unprecedented control over the modification of fatty acid derivatives that opens the door to creating useful substances in a green and efficient manner.
19 May 2020
Scientists from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) have developed a novel technique that can produce pure therapeutic drugs without the associated side effects.
12 Jan 2020
The drugs helped mice and humans recall long-term object memories.
26 Aug 2019
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced an artificial catalytic reactor that can take control of chemical reactions inside living cells, as desired.
26 Apr 2019
BDP Week 2019 in China enjoys unparralleled industry support and is known for generating knowledge, creating business opportunities, and bringing innovative ideas to the table.
09 Dec 2020 to 11 Dec 2020
Singapore's long-running Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry learning and networking event, featuring a stellar profile of C-suite experts and firms.
03 Nov 2020 to 05 Nov 2020
Your go-to event to reach out to key decision makers in the pharmaceutical industry. The event will be delivered digitally from 3-5 November 2020.
Dr Kwa is currently a Pharmacy Clinician Scientist and Assistant Director, Pharmacy (Research), at the Singapore General Hospital. She specializes in critical care medicine, infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance research.
My research background covers multidisciplinary fields such as Pharmaceutics, Cancer Nanomedicine, Bioengineering and Organ-on-a-chip platforms. My current research focuses on the development of dynamic biological barriers on a chip such as blinking human cornea on a chip.
Giants in history
Japanese chemist Takamine Jokichi (3 November 1854 – 22 July 1922) founded the Tokyo Artificial Fertilizer Company, where he isolated a starch-digesting enzyme (named takadiastase) from the fungus Aspergillus oryzae.
The research of Filipino pharmaceutical chemist Luz Oliveros-Belardo (3 November 1906 – 12 December 1999) focussed on essential oils and other chemicals derived from native Philippine plants.
Filipina chemist María Orosa (29 November 1892–13 February 1945) fought malnutrition and food insecurity in the Philippines by devising over 700 culinary creations including Soyalac, a nutrient rich drink made from soybeans, and Darak, rice cookies packed with Vitamin B1, which could prevent beriberi disease caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency. She was also a partisan of the guerrilla movement resisting Japanese occupation during World War II, and died after being struck by shrapnel while working in her laboratory during the Battle of Manila.
Filipino chemist and pharmacist Manuel A. Zamora (29 March 1870 – 9 July 1929) is best remembered for his discovery of the tiki-tiki formula to combat beriberi, a disease caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency.