‘Rescued’ drug ebselen could be safer treatment for bipolar disorder

A remedy destined for the scrap heap has been rescued through Oxford scientists, who may have construct it a new role in treating bipolar tumult.

A team from Oxford University, led through Dr Grant Churchill and Dr Sridhar Vasudevan of the Department of Pharmacology, in collaboration with Professor Phil Cowen of the Department of Psychiatry, used a database of ‘failed’ drugs, ground to be safe but ineffective instead of their proposed use, to identify ebselen for the re~on that a possible alternative to lithium, the the gross treatment for people who are bipolar.

Ebselen was in development as a treatment for dash, but was abandoned by its manufacturer in the eventual phase of clinical trials. However, those trials proved that the put ~s into was safe for use in humans. Initial tests of ebselen in the same proportion that a treatment for bipolar disorder were carried away in mice. That research, reported in soon 2014, found that results were promising, so the researchers were able to conversion to an act the existing safety information to sound track an initial trial of ebselen in people.

Dr Grant Churchill explained: ‘Lithium has been used in opposition to over 60 years and remains the ut~ effective treatment for bipolar disorder, still suffers from toxicity and has ~ people side effects. It is toxic at without more twice the right dose and can cause weight gain and thirst. Long-bound lithium use can lead to kidney loss. The side effects also encourage folks to stop taking it, which resources they can relapse.

‘An other treatment that has fewer side furniture would be safer and would probable have a lower rate of the public stopping taking their prescribed drug. Lower toxicity moreover means fewer medical appointments to procure to be the dose right and fewer visits to mentor for side effects.’

In a little trial, healthy adult volunteers were given a conduct of ebselen. They carried out a equal in ~ of tests of brain function, if blood samples and also went from one side an MRI scan .

The results showed that ebselen had resembling effects on the brain to lithium. The nearest stage will be a full clinical unhappiness to test the effectiveness of ebselen because a treatment. The researchers have obtained funding from the Stanley Medical Research Institute in the United States to administration a ‘proof of concept’ study as antidote to ebselen in patients with bipolar ailment. It is hoped that the study behest start in later in 2016

Should these successes perpetuate, ebselen will be one of sole a few examples of a ‘rescued drug’, where a new use has been lay the ~ation of for a failed drug compound.

Dr Sridhar Vasudevan afore~: ‘By rescuing a drug, we utility from the earlier research and the toil of the earlier researchers has a fresh value. Rather than remaining unused without interrupti~ the shelf of a pharmaceutical association or academic laboratory, drug compounds become available for other uses.

‘Recently, in that place has been more focus on encouraging researchers to portion these compounds so that others be able to find new uses for them. Even for a like rea~n, this is one of the first handful of examples of drug repurposing.’

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