Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Phylogica: new drug lead targeting stroke damage

Phylogica discovers new drug lead targeting stroke to reduce brain damage

Australian biotechnology company Phylogica ( discovered proprietary compounds that protect brain cells under conditions that simulate stroke.

"Compared to the current gold standard for preventing damage to nerve cells under these conditions, three of Phylogica's compounds were between two- and five-fold more effective," Dr Paul Watt, Phylogica’s Scientific Director, said.

Stroke is caused when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, – usually due to a blood clot, but sometimes due to haemorrhage – depriving the surrounding tissue of oxygen. As a result, brain cells die, causing debilitation and functional impairment. While the rate of stroke is on the increase as the population ages, there is currently no effective therapy for prevention of stroke-related brain damage.

The market for stroke is predicted to reach US$5.4 billion by 2006.

In a stroke model using isolated brain cells, Phylogica found a number of its proprietary 'phylomers' were consistently able to rescue the cells from death. Should this approach work as successfully in animal and human trials, it would enable Phylogica to develop an emergency therapeutic product that could be used to limit or prevent the brain damage that would normally occur after a stroke is suffered by a patient. There is not currently any effective therapy available which can achieve this outcome.

“One of the targets that we blocked acts by switching on genes for proteins that contribute to stroke damage. Phylomers acting on this target minimise damage to the brain cells, preventing many of them from dying" Dr Paul Watt, Phylogica’s Scientific Director, said.

Phylomers are small fragments of protein that act by preventing the inappropriate interactions of proteins that cause disease – in this case, damage to brain cells and tissue.

Targeting protein interactions in stroke is an unconventional approach to drug discovery which nevertheless offers the best prospect of delivering drugs with high specificity and few side effects.

Using proprietary screening technology, Phylogica has identified from its unique drug library more than 20 phylomers with the ability to block a key pathway in neurological damage. The new stroke model further validates these blockers in that several phylomers provide extensive protection from such damage to brain cells, even an extended period.

Stewart Washer, Phylogica CEO, said: “These new results put the stroke project on track to develop a lead drug candidate with preclinical proof of concept. Such a drug would be administered as an emergency therapy to minimise the brain damage associated with a stroke event”.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news