SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Expert opinion on therapeutic patents

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Introduction: Berberine, a protoberberine alkaloid, and its derivatives exhibit a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine and current research evidences support its use for various therapeutic areas. Areas covered: This review covers the patents on therapeutic activities of berberine and its derivatives in the years between 2009 and 2012. An extensive search was done to collect the patent information using European Patent Office database and SciFinder. The therapeutic areas covered include cancer, inflammation, infectious diseases, cardiovascular, metabolic disorders, and miscellaneous areas such as polycystic ovary syndrome, allergic diseases, and so on. Expert opinion: Berberine along with its derivatives or in combination with other pharmaceutically active compounds or in the form of formulations has applications in various therapeutic areas such as cancer, inflammation, diabetes, depression, hypertension, and various infectious areas. Berberine has demonstrated wide physiological functions and has great potential to give a multipotent drug if some inherent problems on poor bioavailability and solubility are taken care of. Additionally, polyherbal formulations with berberine-containing plants as major ingredients can be successfully developed.

Concepts: Medicine, Infectious disease, The Canon of Medicine, Allergy, Patent, Traditional medicine, United States Patent and Trademark Office, European Patent Organisation

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Introduction: Inhibitors of the phosphodiesterase enzyme PDE10A have been the target for extensive investigations and huge drug discovery research efforts during the recent years. Although PDE10A with its 13 years history is a relatively newly discovered target, it has been paradigmatic for the new generation of ‘high efficiency drug discovery’. Several companies now have clinical programs aiming at validating the clinical potential of PDE10A inhibitors. The majority of companies have been focusing on the treatment of schizophrenia since preclinical evidence suggests that a PDE10A inhibitor could provide antipsychotic, pro-cognitive and negative symptom efficacy. Areas covered: This article highlights and reviews research advances published in the patent literature since mid-2009 until mid-2012. The article is supplemented with selected publications from the scientific literature, emphasizing the possible involvement of PDE10A inhibitors in the treatment of schizophrenia. Expert opinion: Several compounds from various companies are currently undergoing clinical testing, dominated by compounds in clinical Phase I. Focus is mainly on CNS diseases and schizophrenia is the leading target indication.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Academic publishing, Science, Linguistics, Enzyme inhibitor, Pre-clinical development, Publishing, Invention

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Introduction: Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has received considerable attention since the discovery of LRRK2 mutations in families with dominantly inherited Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 2004. The missense mutation G2019S is the most common LRRK2 mutation and has been identified in both familial and sporadic PD cases. The G2019S mutation enhances kinase activity suggesting that LRRK2 could be an attractive therapeutic target for PD and small-molecule ATP-competitive LRRK2 kinase inhibitors are one way to investigate this possibility. Areas covered: Currently, LRRK2 kinase inhibitors are being actively pursued by industry and academia. Herein, patents detailing the discovery of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors from 2006 through 2011 and the corresponding publications from 2006 through July of 2012 are summarized. Expert opinion: Wild-type and mutant forms of LRRK2 are currently being actively pursued as therapeutic targets for the potential treatment of PD. The increasing number of patent applications being filed for inhibitors of LRRK2 is a testament to this activity. Numerous distinct chemo-types have been reported as LRRK2 inhibitors with some demonstrating exceptional potency and selectivity for LRRK2 relative to other kinases. These compounds are being used as pharmacological ‘tools’ to elucidate the physiological and pathophysiological function of LRRK2 and it appears likely that some will be investigated for their potential therapeutic effects for the treatment of PD.

Concepts: Mutation, Protein kinase, Parkinson's disease, Point mutation, Missense mutation, Nonsense mutation, Patent, LRRK2

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Introduction: There is substantial evidence from preclinical and early proof-of-concept studies suggesting that selective modulation of the M(1) muscarinic receptor is efficacious in cognitive models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and antipsychotic models of schizophrenia. For example, a number of nonselective M(1) muscarinic agonists have previously shown positive effects on cognitive function in AD patients, but were limited due to cholinergic adverse events thought to be mediated by pan activation of the M(2) to M(5) subtypes. Thus, there is a need to identify selective activators of the M(1) receptor to evaluate their potential in cognitive disorders. One strategy to confer selectivity for M(1) is the identification of allosteric agonists or positive allosteric modulators, which would target an allosteric site on the M(1) receptor rather than the highly conserved orthosteric acetylcholine binding site. Areas covered: This review discusses the M(1) muscarinic receptor and its potential therapeutic value in the treatment of CNS disorders such as AD and schizophrenia. Specifically, novel allosteric ligands that activate or positively modulate the M(1) receptor are examined and peer-reviewed articles associated with these patents publications are also described. Expert opinion: There is substantial evidence supporting activation of the M(1) receptor might be effective in treating symptoms of AD and schizophrenia, but therapeutic success has been elusive and is hypothesized to be due to the lack of selectivity among orthosteric agonists. During the past decade, allosteric modulation of GPCRs has evolved as a viable strategy toward generating subtype selective molecules. A number of novel, selective ligands in the form of allosteric agonists and positive allosteric modulators of the M(1) receptor have been identified offering the potential for clinical evaluation of M(1)-specific receptor activation.

Concepts: Allosteric regulation, Signal transduction, Ligand, Agonist, Acetylcholine, Modulation, Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, Muscarinic agonist

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Cells derived from human embryonic stem cells have great therapeutic potential. Patents are key to allowing companies that develop methods of generating such cells to recuperate their investment. However, in Europe, inventions relating to the use of human embryos for commercial purposes are excluded from patentability on moral grounds. The scope of this morality exclusion was recently tested before Germany’s highest court and before the European Patent Office (EPO), with diverging results. The decision by the EPO’s Opposition Division to revoke EP1040185 relating to neural precursors and methods for their generation has received a mixed reception. The decision has very recently been appealed, and the outcome of this Appeal should provide more definitive guidance on the scope of the morality exclusion.

Concepts: Stem cell, Embryonic stem cell, Patent, Invention, United States Patent and Trademark Office, European Patent Organisation, Patentability, Opposition procedure before the European Patent Office

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Introduction: Autotaxin (ATX) is a lysophospholipase D enzyme that hydrolyzes lysophosphatidylcholine to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and choline. LPA is a bioactive lipid mediator that activates several transduction pathways, and is involved in migration, proliferation and survival of various cells. Thus, ATX is an attractive medicinal target. Areas covered: The aim of this review is to summarize ATX inhibitors, reported in patents from 2006 up to now, describing their discovery and biological evaluation. Expert opinion: ATX has been implicated in various pathological conditions, such as cancer, chronic inflammation, neuropathic pain, fibrotic diseases, etc. Although there is an intensive effort on the discovery of potent and selective ATX inhibitors in order to identify novel medicinal agents, up to now, no ATX inhibitor has reached clinical trials. However, the use of ATX inhibitors seems an attractive strategy for the development of novel medicinal agents, for example anticancer therapeutics.

Concepts: Inflammation, Medicine, Cancer, Adenosine triphosphate, Biology, Pathology, Enzyme inhibitor, Medical cannabis

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Introduction: Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-to-cell communication that regulates gene expression and coordinates their behavior in accordance with the cell population density as a result of discerning molecules termed autoinducers (AIs). The processes that QS governed include biofilm formation, bacterial virulence, antibiotic production, competence, conjugation, swarming motility and sporulation. Three main QS AIs are acyl-homoserine lactones, AI-2 and AI peptides. The attractive study of QS leads to an expansive number of QS inhibitors and approaches interfering with QS appearing. Areas covered: This review summarized the recent QS inhibitor-related patents published from 2009 to 2012. The authors have analyzed these patents and have provided an overview of QS inhibitors and their application. Expert opinion: The main strategies for QS inhibition related to the patents are disruption of the AI synthase, inactivation of the signal molecule, antagonism of the receptor and promotion of immune response to AI. Some of the natural or synthetic QS inhibitors display excellent activity to manipulate bacterial pathogenicity to offer significant potential in clinical therapy. However, more efforts are needed to be conducted to determine this form of communication to guide the development of QS inhibitors. Overall, QS is a suitable target for antimicrobial therapy and QS inhibitors are likely to lead to a renaissance of anti-virulence drugs without tolerance, which is the ultimate goal expected to achieve in this field.

Concepts: Immune system, Gene, Gene expression, Bacteria, Microbiology, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Biofilm, Quorum sensing

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Introduction: Naphthalimides are important aromatic heterocycles with immense pharmacological significance as they serve as core scaffold for many antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiprotozoal and antiviral agents, etc. The tricyclic planar ring system of naphthalimide is primarily responsible for its intercalation with DNA to perturb the cellular events and the substitution pattern of the molecule leads to several other applications. The promising pharmacological activity profile and ease of synthesis have been attractive in design and development of new class of naphthalimides and their conjugates as various potential therapeutic agents. Few of such molecules are currently under preclinical and clinical evaluations. Areas covered: Important patents focusing on naphthalimides as potential class of therapeutics, published between the period of 2006 - 2011have been covered. The reports are presented together with a review of the related structural chemical space. This review mainly focuses on the therapeutic applications, structural modifications of naphthalimide scaffold, their conjugates and heterocyclics bearing naphthalimide moiety. Expert opinion: The tricyclic planar ring system of naphthalimide restrains important pharmaceutical properties along with excellent fluorescent after proper substitution pattern. Linking these active naphthalimide derivatives with other active pharmacophore has become an interesting area of research. The utility of naphthalimide derivatives as novel pharmaceutical and photochemical agents can be further enhanced by introducing polar side chains and fusing functionalized heterocyclic rings with naphthalimide cores.

Concepts: DNA, Medicine, Molecule, Chemistry, Atom, Pharmacotherapy, Patent, Heterocyclic compound

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Introduction: At present, the key public health concern is to define the way in which the next influenza pandemic should be controlled. While influenza vaccines are available, their effectiveness could be significantly reduced if new strains differ significantly from those of the vaccines. Therefore, antiviral drugs play an important role in the prevention and management of influenza. The influenza neuraminidase (NA), a surface-glycoprotein enzyme involved in releasing the virus from the host cell, has been considered as an essential therapeutic target for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza infection. It is a highly conserved feature of the active site across all influenza A and B viruses and is of particular interest because compounds NA inhibitors (NAIs) can be cross-reactive against multiple types and subtypes of influenza. Currently, there are two NAI drugs which are licensed worldwide: oseltamivir and zanamivir, and two more drugs which have received recent approval in Japan: peramivir and laninamivir. Sudden changes in NAI susceptibility have stressed the urgent need in searching for novel inhibitors. Areas covered: In this review, a potential pitfall in NA-based assays and the progress in the chemical synthesis of all patented NAIs from February 2006 to July 2012 are discussed. Expert opinion: Both NA enzyme inhibition and X-ray crystallography data have suggested that the strategy of designing NAIs binding to the highly conserved region of NA can lead to inhibitors that are effective against all influenza NA subtypes. A number of new synthetic entries having unique structural frameworks that were designed based on computational study of X-ray structures of NA. They strongly exhibited the activity of NA in the low nanomolar range such as phosphonate congeners of zanamivir and oseltarmivir. Screening strategies based on the chemical diversity of natural products have revealed that flavonoids are the most prominent scaffolds possessing NA inhibitory activity. However, these substituted phenyl-benzopyrane compounds have been reported to exert a considerable quenching effect, causing false-positive results in the commonly used method of enzyme-based NA inhibition assays, and thus, reliability of the flavonoid-based NAIs reported in the literature.

Concepts: Virus, Antiviral drug, Influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Oseltamivir, Neuraminidase, Neuraminidase inhibitor

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Introduction: The design and development of small molecule negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGlu(5)) has been an area of intense interest for over a decade. Potential roles have been established for mGlu(5) NAMs in the treatment of diseases such as pain, anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Parkinson’s disease levodopa-induced dyskinesia (PD-LID), fragile X syndrome (FXS), autism, addiction, and depression. Areas covered: This review begins with an update of the clinical trial efforts with mGlu(5) NAMs. Following that update, the review summarizes small molecule mGlu(5) NAM patent applications published between 2010 and 2012. These summaries are subdivided into three separate groups: inventions related to improvements in drug properties and/or developability, new chemical entities that contain a disubstituted alkyne, and new chemical entities that do not contain a disubstituted alkyne. Expert opinion: Given the abundant promise found within the mGlu(5) NAM field, optimism remains that a drug will emerge from this therapeutic class. Still, the launch of a new drug is far from a certainty. It is encouraging to observe the ever-increasing chemical diversity among mGlu(5) NAMs. Finally, in spite of the mature nature of this field, room remains for new advancements.

Concepts: Metabotropic glutamate receptor, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, New chemical entity