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AstraZeneca plc is a British multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by 2012 prescription drug sales and has operations in over 100 countries.AstraZeneca has a portfolio of products for major disease areas including cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation. The company was founded in 1999 through the merger of the Sweden-based Astra AB and the UK-based Zeneca Group . It has made numerous corporate acquisitions, including of Cambridge Antibody Technology , MedImmune , and Spirogen .AstraZeneca has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £54.8 billion as of 1 August 2014, the sixth largest of any company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange and the OMX exchange. Wikipedia.

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) remain life-threatening disorders associated with high morbidity and mortality, despite advances in treatment over the last decade. Adenosine diphosphate-induced platelet activation via P2Y 12 receptors plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of ACS. The current standard of treatment involves dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and the thienopyridine clopidogrel. Numerous studies and wide use in clinical practice have established the value of this approach in the treatment of ACS. However, clopidogrel treatment has a number of limitations, including a delayed onset of action due to the need for metabolic activation, variable and reduced antiplatelet effects in patients with certain genotypes, and prolonged recovery of platelet function due to irreversible P2Y 12 receptor binding. Prasugrel, a new thienopyridine, has demonstrated more consistent inhibition of platelet aggregation (IPA) than clopidogrel, although this thienopyridine also requires metabolic activation and treatment is associated with a significantly increased risk of life-threatening and fatal bleeding. The recently approved oral antiplatelet agent ticagrelor has the potential to overcome some of the limitations of current therapy due to its unique pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. It is a member of a new chemical class, the cyclopentyltriazolopyrimidines, and is a potent P2Y 12 receptor antagonist. Ticagrelor is rapidly absorbed, with a median time to maximum concentration of 1.3-2.0 hours. Ticagrelor does not require metabolic activation to an active form and binds rapidly and reversibly to the P2Y 12 receptor. As well as exerting effects via platelet P2Y 12 receptors, ticagrelor may confer additional benefits via inhibition of non-platelet P2Y 12 receptors. The pharmacokinetic profile of ticagrelor is not significantly affected by age, gender or administration with food, nor by prior treatment with, or responsiveness to, clopidogrel. Ticagrelor is primarily metabolized via the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 enzyme, rapidly produces plasma concentration-dependent IPA that is greater and more consistent than that observed with clopidogrel, and can also enhance platelet inhibition and overcome non-responsiveness in patients previously treated with clopidogrel. Importantly, the pharmacodynamic characteristics of ticagrelor are not influenced by CYP2C19 and ABCB1 genotypes. This article summarizes our current knowledge regarding the pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and pharmacogenetic profile of ticagrelor. © 2012 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved.

Clapham J.C.,Astrazeneca
Neuropharmacology | Year: 2012

In mammals and birds, conservation of body heat at around 37 °C is vital to life. Thermogenesis is the production of this heat which can be obligatory, as in basal metabolic rate, or it can be facultative such as the response to cold. A complex regulatory system has evolved which senses environmental or core temperature and integrates this information in hypothalamic regions such as the preoptic area and dorsomedial hypothalamus. These areas then send the appropriate signals to generate and conserve heat (or dissipate it). In this review, the importance of the sympathetic nervous system is discussed in relation to its role in basal metabolic rate and adaptive thermogenesis with a particular emphasis to human obesity. The efferent sympathetic pathway does not uniformly act on all tissues; different tissues can receive different levels of sympathetic drive at the same time. This is an important concept in the discussion of the pharmacotherapy of obesity. Despite decades of work the medicine chest contains only one pill for the long term treatment of obesity, orlistat, a lipase inhibitor that prevents the absorption of lipid from the gut and is itself not systemically absorbed. The central controlling system for thermogenesis has many potential intervention points. Several drugs, previously marketed, awaiting approval or in the earlier stages of development may have a thermogenic effect via activation of the sympathetic nervous system at some point in the thermoregulatory circuit and are discussed in this review. If the balance is weighted to the "wrong" side there is the burden of increased cardiovascular risk while a shift to the "right" side, if possible, will afford a thermogenic benefit that is conducive to weight loss maintenance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Central Control Food Intake'. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Howell G.P.,Astrazeneca
Organic Process Research and Development | Year: 2012

Asymmetric and diastereoselective conjugate addition reactions are discussed from an industrial perspective including examples of (1) Lewis acid/Brønsted base catalysis, (2) phase transfer catalysis, (3) organocatalysis, and (4) transition metal/ligand catalysis with organometallic reagents. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death and new therapies are urgently required to treat this disease. Recent data suggest that the FGF19-FGFR4 axis may be a key driver in certain forms of HCC, making the pathway an interesting, emerging molecular target for potential therapeutic intervention. A complication is that, outside of malignant disease, FGFR4 plays an important physiological role in the regulation of hepatic bile acid (BA) synthesis. FGF19 signalling via FGFR4 suppresses de novo BA production in the liver, tightly maintaining hepatic and systemic levels of these detergent-like molecules at a physiological threshold and preventing pathological complications of raised BA levels, such as cholestatic liver injury and bile acid diarrhoea. In some cases of HCC, the malignant disease causes bile duct obstruction, preventing BA secretion from the liver and resulting in cholestasis. Here, the role of FGFR4 signalling in both HCC and BA homoeostasis is discussed. The potential effects of therapeutic FGF19-FGFR4 inhibition on human hepatobiliary/gastrointestinal physiology are considered along with the potential safety implications of FGF19-FGFR4 blockade in patients with HCC. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

von Euler G.,Astrazeneca
Acta neuropathologica communications | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: The progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with an increase of phosphorylated tau in the brain. One of the earliest phosphorylated sites on tau is Ser262 that is preferentially phosphorylated by microtubule affinity regulating kinase (MARK), of which four isoforms exist. Herein we investigated the expression of MARK1-4 in the hippocampus of non-demented elderly (NDE) and AD cases.RESULTS: In situ hybridization revealed a uniform, neuronal distribution of all four isoform mRNAs in NDE and AD. Immunohistochemical analyses using isoform-selective antibodies demonstrated that MARK4 in a phosphorylated form colocalizes with p-tau Ser262 in granulovacuolar degeneration bodies (GVDs) that progressively accumulate in AD. In contrast MARK4 is largely absent in the neuronal cytoplasm. MARK3 was localized to a subset of the GVD-containing neurons and also had a weak general cytoplasmic neuronal staining in both NDE and AD. These results suggest that in AD, phosphorylated MARK3 and MARK4 are sequestered and proteolysed in GVDs. MARK1 and MARK2 were absent in GVDs and exhibited relatively uniform neuronal expressions with no apparent differences between NDE and AD.CONCLUSION: We found that the phosphorylated and fragmented forms of MARK4 and to some extent MARK3 are present in GVDs in AD, and that this expression is highly correlated with phosphorylation of tau at Ser262. This may represent a cellular defense mechanism to remove activated MARK and p-tau Ser262 from the cytosol, thereby reducing the phosphorylating effect on tau Ser262 that appears to be a critical step for subsequent neurodegeneration.

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