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Novel compound is active across the entire parasite lifecycle and holds great promise as a single dose cure A new paper published today in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine describes the discovery and biological profiling of an exciting new anti-malarial clinical drug candidate, MMV390048, effective against resistant strains of the malaria parasite, and across the entire parasite lifecycle, with the potential to cure and protect in a single dose. The research was conducted by the University of Cape Town (UCT)'s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in collaboration with a team of international researchers. The paper is the first full disclosure of data demonstrating the antimalarial promise of MMV390048 (also known as MMV048), a compound discovered by an international team led by Professor Kelly Chibale at UCT and MMV. "The ability of MMV048 to block all life cycle stages of the malaria parasite, offer protection against infection as well as potentially block transmission of the parasite from person to person suggests that this compound could contribute to the eradication of malaria, a disease that claims the lives of several hundred thousand people every year," said Professor Chibale, Founder and Director of H3D, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery Research Unit at UCT, and senior author of the paper. In 2014, MMV048 became the first new antimalarial medicine to enter phase I human studies in Africa. Today, preparations are being made to begin phase IIa human trials on this promising compound as a single-dose cure. "This compound has enormous potential," said Dr David Reddy, MMV's CEO. "In addition to the exciting characteristics noted, it has the potential to be administered as a single dose, which could revolutionize the treatment of malaria. At MMV, we look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Professor Chibale and colleagues at UCT to pursue the development of this and future next-generation antimalarials." The project has benefited from sustained funding from MMV, the South African Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) unit of the SAMRC. MMV's support has also been critical in helping H3D build and reinforce their scientific networks of drug discoverers and understand the compound's role in blocking the transmission of the malaria parasite. Despite the positive impact of medication, indoor spraying with insecticides and the use of insecticide bed-nets, around 429,000 people died from malaria in 2015, mostly in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation's World Malaria Report. The paper said resistance to treatment regimens still posed a threat and highlighted the importance of developing treatments containing new chemical classes with different modes of action. Contacts: Professor Kelly Chibale, Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D), University of Cape Town via Saroja Naicker - saroja.naicker@uct.ac.za +27 21 6501433 (office) or Kim Cloete cloetek@yahoo.co.uk +27 82 4150736 (mobile) H3D is Africa's first integrated drug discovery and development centre. H3D was founded at the University of Cape Town in April 2011 and pioneers world-class drug discovery in Africa. The vision of H3D is to be the leading organisation for integrated drug discovery and development on the African continent. H3D strives to discover and develop innovative, life saving medicines through excellence in interdisciplinary, translational science. According to the World Health Organisation's World Malaria Report, there were 212 million new cases of malaria worldwide in 2015, with 90% of cases occurring in the WHO Africa region. In 2015, there were an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths worldwide, with 92% of these deaths occurring in Africa. Children under five are particularly susceptible to malaria illness, infection and death. In 2015, malaria killed an estimated 303,000 under-fives globally, including 292,000 children in the African region. Issued by Kim Cloete on behalf of H3D, University of Cape Town. +27 82 4150736; cloetek@yahoo.co.uk


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Many older adults have fallen outdoors but lack an understanding of the risks for falling and how to prevent them, warranting efforts for outdoor fall prevention, finds a new study by New York University researchers. "Despite their frequency, outdoor falls receive little attention when it comes to education and prevention," said Tracy Chippendale, assistant professor of occupational therapy at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and the study's lead author. The findings of this study, published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, are being used to develop and pilot an outdoor fall prevention program, which is currently underway in New York City. Approximately 30 percent of adults age 65 and older fall each year, with serious consequences for both the individual and the health care system. Although falls have been well studied, the focus has been on indoor rather than outdoor falls. Yet, research shows that 48 percent of the most recent falls among older adults and up to 72 percent among middle aged adults occur outdoors. Although there are similarities in the risk factors for falling indoors and outdoors, such as depression, fall history, and use of certain medications, there are also a number of differences. People who fall outdoors are more likely to be male, younger, active, and fast walkers. In addition to physical injuries such as open wounds, head injuries, and fractures, outdoor falls can have emotional consequences, including fear and anxiety about falling again. This study sought to explore the experiences and fall prevention knowledge of older adults living in the community, not in housing for seniors. Using random digit telephone dialing, the researchers surveyed 120 adults age 55 and older across the five boroughs of New York City. A high proportion of adults surveyed - 85 people or 71 percent - had fallen outdoors in their adult years. Of those who had experienced an outdoor fall, 28 had minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises, 18 had moderate injuries with prolonged pain or soreness, and nine had severe injuries such as fractures, rotator cuff injuries, or injuries requiring stitches or surgery. Beyond physical injuries, participants commonly described having an emotional response to a fall, including fear of falling again or embarrassment, which may affect one's willingness to disclose a fall or seek medical attention. The participants attributed their falls to a number of causes. Environmental factors included objects (e.g. metal post, branch, stones), surface conditions (e.g. slippery or uneven), and stairs, particularly at entranceways. A number of people surveyed reported falls caused by otherwise healthy activities such as exercising or walking a dog. Many participants attributed falls in part to their own practices, such as wearing ill-fitting or inappropriate shoes, not paying attention, or walking too fast. In addition, those surveyed frequently described multiple factors that contributed to their fall, such as rushing on an icy surface or being distracted on an uneven surface. Overall, the survey revealed a number of unmet education and training needs for outdoor fall prevention among community-dwelling older adults. For example, older adults should be educated on the importance of wearing single vision glasses and proper footwear, which have been flagged as common causes for falls. They should also be educated on the risks associated with recreation areas and parking lots or garages, since these have been shown to be common fall locations. Adults could also benefit from training on fall prevention strategies, including safety during routine activities such as carrying items on uneven surfaces, going up and down stairs, and opening or closing doors. Education around safe outdoor walking strategies (e.g. avoiding distractions, navigating sloped and uneven surfaces, and walking slower) would also be beneficial. "Programs to prevent outdoor falls should include information on outdoor fall risks, action planning for the adoption of prevention behaviors, and training in safe performance of everyday activities," said Chippendale. The study was coauthored by Victoria Raveis, research professor and director of the Psychosocial Research Unit on Health, Aging and the Community at NYU College of Dentistry. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media, and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A hay fever map of Britain - with the first ever guide to the location of plants in the UK that can trigger the allergy - has been produced to help sufferers cope, and warn them which 'hotspots' to avoid. Academics at the University of Exeter's Medical School have produced new, highly-detailed maps of the UK containing the location of key plants and trees known to produce pollen that triggers allergies and asthma. The maps, produced in collaboration with the Met Office, may help acute hay-fever or asthma sufferers decide where to live, or which areas to avoid at peak times when pollen is released. The study records areas where plants which hay fever sufferers are most likely to be sensitive to are most prevalent, including grasses and trees and plants such as birch, alder, oak and nettle. The plant maps, which include cities throughout the UK - with a detailed plan of London - will help medics further study the impact of air pollution on asthma. Around 80 per cent of people with asthma also have a pollen allergy and in the UK around 10 per cent of the adult population is affected by asthma - one of the highest levels of doctor-diagnosed asthma in the world. In 2001, thirteen per cent of people in the UK were diagnosed with hayfever by doctors. Most people with hay-fever are allergic to grass pollen, which is most common in late spring and early summer. Air pollution, for example from car exhaust fumes, is understood to exacerbate hospital admissions for asthma caused by allergies. The maps are released as new research carried out at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter's Medical School, shows that exposure to pollen can increase hospital admissions for asthma within days of exposure. The study of hospital admissions in London by Dr Nicholas Osborne, published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, found that four to five days after increased grass pollen counts there was a spike in hospital admissions for asthma. The study also found increased admissions for asthma 2-5 days later after Met Office pollen alert levels of very high pollen days. Dr Rachel McInnes and Dr Osborne of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School believe their maps of allergenic pollen-producing plants, in combined with pollen forecasts and calendars, could help sufferers manage their condition by reducing their exposure. The study examined the tree canopy, and the distribution of grasses to allow people to locate areas where they could be particularly affected. The resulting maps show where the allergenic plants and trees are located around Great Britain. The academics used sophisticated aerial mapping, as well as data from a variety of sources, to show the geographical distribution of the 12 key types of plants associated with hay fever and asthma brought on by allergies. In London, the prevalence of allergenic plants is broken down by neighbourhood. The maps were produced in collaboration with the Met Office, as part of the multi-institutional and interdisciplinary Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health funded by NIHR (National Institute for Health Research). They include the location of grasses, weeds and trees producing pollen known to trigger hay-fever and asthma, including birch, alder, hazel, plane trees and oak, grass, nettles, mugwort and plantain. The maps show a higher percentage of allergenic grass in the northern and western regions of great Britain. The Eastern central area of the UK has the lowest percentage of allergenic grass. The North West and Western Scotland have the highest density of grass coverage. The detailed maps of the location of pollen, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, may make it possible to identify plants increasing the risk of higher hospital admissions for asthma. Research by Dr Nicholas Osborne, an epidemiologist and toxicologist, at the University of Exeter's Medical School, said the maps will help doctors narrow down which pollens are most likely to trigger asthma attacks. "We hope that these maps will contribute to ongoing research that aims to better determine when plants pollenate, allowing us with time to provide better warning to allergy and asthma sufferers to enable them to better manage their disease," Dr Osborne said. "In the future, more people will know what species they are allergic to." The map of tree locations used data from a high-resolution National Tree Map produced by Bluesky International, which used high-resolution aerial photography and remote sensing, as well as information from the Forestry Commission. Dr Rachel McInnes, an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter European Centre for Environment and Human Health and a Senior Climate Impacts Scientist at the Met Office, said: "These maps are a step towards a species-level pollen forecast. Pollen can have a serious impact on the well-being of those with hay fever or asthma. By working towards a localised, species-level forecast, vulnerable people can better plan their activities and manage their condition. These new maps could also provide local authorities and healthcare practitioners with information to assist patients with pollen allergies. While these allergenic plant and tree maps do not provide a forecast of pollen levels, they do provide the most likely locations of grass and of tree species which are the source of most allergenic pollen."


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

After a 2015 national report detailed fragmentation among emergency medical services systems, Michigan Medicine researchers worked with stakeholders in Michigan to explore best practices in improving pre-hospital care ANN ARBOR, Mich. Emergency medical services are often the first to provide acute care to critically ill patients. These services can include private, government or publicly owned paramedic and ambulance services, as well as fire departments with EMS personnel. But delivery of that care isn't always seamless. Nor are the quality levels universal. The divide was the basis of a 2015 Institute of Medicine report that highlighted fragmentation among EMS systems in the United States and a lack of accountability and coordination at the state and federal levels. The findings compelled Mahshid Abir, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at Michigan Medicine and director of the University of Michigan Acute Care Research Unit, to evaluate the quality of EMS oversight in Michigan and explore how EMS systems could work together to improve patient care. "This report identifies best practices in EMS oversight and informs related state policy in order to improve pre-hospital care quality," says Abir, who presented her findings at the 2017 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. In its own evaluation, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) continually cited knowledge gaps in best practices in quality measurement and data reporting for EMS oversight. It also provided recommendations to better understand what roles the federal government, state governments and local communities have in oversight and evaluation of EMS systems. Abir and colleague Rekar Taymour, a research associate for the U-M Acute Care Research Unit, agreed with the recommendations. They sought to examine how those knowledge gaps could be filled regarding Michigan's 61 medical control authorities - through funding from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Michigan HHS administered previous evaluation tools and held outcomes data within the Michigan EMS Information System (MI-EMSIS), a statewide repository of EMS data that contributes to a larger national repository. The authors' efforts were guided by their long-standing objective. "The U-M Acute Care Research Unit works to unify the delivery of acute care along its continuum, meaning pre-hospital care, emergency care, inpatient care and ambulatory care all play a role," says Abir, also a member of the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care and the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. The study involved three phases. In the first, researchers analyzed peer-reviewed and lay literature to evaluate the landscape and quality measures of EMS oversight. Phase two included a quantitative analysis of the MI-EMSIS to evaluate the degree to which reported data were missing. "MI-EMSIS is meant as a quality-assessment tool for pre-hospital care," Abir says. "However, it can only be used for this purpose if the reported data is complete and valid." Data evaluated included patient demographics, medication allergies, EMS provider impression and vital signs, among other variables. Finally, they performed focus groups and interviews with EMS stakeholders from diverse community settings, geographic regions and professional roles to understand factors associated with successful EMS oversight. The takeaway: Most quality measurement occurs at the EMS personnel level instead of the oversight and system levels, confirming the knowledge gap identified by the Institute of Medicine report. Findings from Abir's study shed light on key factors to developing quality measures for EMS oversight. The team found that the data being reported in MI-EMSIS were not always of high quality, and missing variables often differed based on software platform, EMS agency and the overseeing medical control authority. Stakeholders, the researchers note, attributed the missing data partly to data-mapping issues, uncertainty in how each authority defined some of the variables and unfamiliarity with reporting procedures. "We took the data from the three phases of the study and triangulated it," Abir says. "We found that high-quality EMS oversight occurs through seven key factors." "We noted that medical control authorities have to be deliberate and have structures and processes in place in each of these seven areas," Abir says. "If they do, we think it could greatly improve the quality and coordination of care EMS systems provide to patients." Based on the study findings, the team provided 20 recommendations to Michigan HHS to inform policy related to EMS oversight in the state. Among them: promoting EMS protocol consistency across the state; encouraging medical control authority boards to include representation from all key stakeholders; developing and disseminating a medical control authority guidebook of best practices to EMS agencies; exploring methods of providing consistent funding to medical control authorities through hospitals, EMS agencies, foundations and private industry; and promoting regional medical control authority conferences for leaders to coordinate and collaborate. "Unifying care across the acute care continuum -- including from the pre-hospital to emergency department and hospital settings -- through improved communication and collaboration is likely to lead to improved care quality and patient outcomes," Abir says. Through informing state policy regarding EMS oversight, Abir hopes the study and recommendations can help improve pre-hospital care quality and unify EMS services and other key stakeholders, and perhaps become an example for other states of how these services can work together more effectively through high-quality EMS oversight. "Medical control authorities can serve as a common point where stakeholders across the state, including hospitals, EMS agencies and police and fire departments can come together and improve pre-hospital care and patient outcomes," Abir says. "Collaboration is key."


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: phys.org

Biologists have long understood that migration corridors are important for enabling animals to move between winter and summer ranges, but corridors themselves were not actually understood as habitat. However, this new research has documented that these economically and ecologically important game animals are not just moving from low-elevation winter range to high-elevation summer range. Rather, the daily movements of migratory mule deer are closely timed to track spring green-up, known as "surfing the green wave." The new results indicate deer's surfing includes stopping over at various points along the way, prolonging the animals' exposure to high-quality forage along the entire migration route. The findings are reported in a paper released to the public last week. The paper will be published in the June issue of the scientific journal Ecology Letters. "When we looked at the deer movement data and aligned it with the timing of spring green-up at each location, we were amazed," says Matt Kauffman, director of the Wyoming Migration Initiative, UW professor and USGS researcher at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "These deer have an almost uncanny ability to keep pace with the spring timing of the greening. And that allows them to get the highest quality forage, when plants are first greening up. Their movements fit the predictions of the green wave hypothesis almost perfectly." The researchers gathered movement data from 99 adult female mule deer—ranging from 2-12 years of age—which migrate north in spring along the Wyoming Range, a productive mountain range in western Wyoming that is the southern extent of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The deer were fitted with GPS tracking collars that logged their locations every 1-5 hours. For three years, daily movements of deer during the spring migration were matched with dynamic maps (from remote sensing imagery) to determine how closely each deer's movements overlapped with the timing of early spring green-up, when the nutritional value of vegetation peaks. All deer showed evidence of green-wave surfing, and roughly one third of them perfectly matched their movements to the timing of green-up. Little is known about what makes one deer surf well and another surf poorly. The study found that the degree to which mule deer surfed the green wave along their migratory routes was unrelated to their age or body condition. Instead, how well deer surfed depended on the manner in which the spring green-up spread across the landscape. Mule deer surfed better when their migration routes had a longer green-up period, a more rapid rate of green-up, and when the timing of green-up progressed consecutively from winter to summer range. The researchers have dubbed this characterization of the green-up pattern the "greenscape." A route's greenscape was the primary factor determining how well individual deer surfed the green wave. "Viewing migration as a movement strategy driven by these resource waves challenges traditional concepts of migration," says Ellen Aikens, lead author and doctoral researcher in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "This research shows that management and future studies must consider how habitat along the migratory corridor influences movement and foraging as mule deer migrate." "The sophisticated analysis used here sets a new standard for work on migration of large herbivores. It is a very impressive coupling of extensive movement data with satellite data," says Atle Mysterud, professor at the University of Oslo. "It allows a new level of detail in separating out the behavioral and the landscape part of green-wave surfing." Explore further: New research details how big game follow spring green-up More information: Ellen O. Aikens et al, The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore, Ecology Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1111/ele.12772


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a new study from a team of researchers led by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Biologists have long understood that migration corridors are important for enabling animals to move between winter and summer ranges, but corridors themselves were not actually understood as habitat. However, this new research has documented that these economically and ecologically important game animals are not just moving from low-elevation winter range to high-elevation summer range. Rather, the daily movements of migratory mule deer are closely timed to track spring green-up, known as "surfing the green wave." The new results indicate deer's surfing includes stopping over at various points along the way, prolonging the animals' exposure to high-quality forage along the entire migration route. The findings are reported in a paper released to the public last week. The paper will be published in the June issue of the scientific journal Ecology Letters. "When we looked at the deer movement data and aligned it with the timing of spring green-up at each location, we were amazed," says Matt Kauffman, director of the Wyoming Migration Initiative, UW professor and USGS researcher at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "These deer have an almost uncanny ability to keep pace with the spring timing of the greening. And that allows them to get the highest quality forage, when plants are first greening up. Their movements fit the predictions of the green wave hypothesis almost perfectly." The researchers gathered movement data from 99 adult female mule deer -- ranging from 2-12 years of age -- which migrate north in spring along the Wyoming Range, a productive mountain range in western Wyoming that is the southern extent of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The deer were fitted with GPS tracking collars that logged their locations every 1-5 hours. For three years, daily movements of deer during the spring migration were matched with dynamic maps (from remote sensing imagery) to determine how closely each deer's movements overlapped with the timing of early spring green-up, when the nutritional value of vegetation peaks. All deer showed evidence of green-wave surfing, and roughly one third of them perfectly matched their movements to the timing of green-up. Little is known about what makes one deer surf well and another surf poorly. The study found that the degree to which mule deer surfed the green wave along their migratory routes was unrelated to their age or body condition. Instead, how well deer surfed depended on the manner in which the spring green-up spread across the landscape. Mule deer surfed better when their migration routes had a longer green-up period, a more rapid rate of green-up, and when the timing of green-up progressed consecutively from winter to summer range. The researchers have dubbed this characterization of the green-up pattern the "greenscape." A route's greenscape was the primary factor determining how well individual deer surfed the green wave. "Viewing migration as a movement strategy driven by these resource waves challenges traditional concepts of migration," says Ellen Aikens, lead author and doctoral researcher in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "This research shows that management and future studies must consider how habitat along the migratory corridor influences movement and foraging as mule deer migrate." "The sophisticated analysis used here sets a new standard for work on migration of large herbivores. It is a very impressive coupling of extensive movement data with satellite data," says Atle Mysterud, professor at the University of Oslo. "It allows a new level of detail in separating out the behavioral and the landscape part of green-wave surfing." The study was conducted in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which is charged with managing Wyoming's big game migration corridors. The work is part of ongoing research that seeks to identify and map Wyoming's big-game migrations and understand the influence of development and climate change on this important behavior. It is funded, in part, by the USGS through the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative and the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The research was also supported by several sportsmen's groups in Wyoming and other state and federal agencies in the region. You can follow Wyoming's big-game herds during their spring migration. Check out the Wyoming Migration Initiative's Facebook page for weekly maps and updates.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Gutenberg Research College (GRC) of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) granted the 2017 Gutenberg Research Award to Professor Karin Knorr Cetina of the University of Chicago at yesterday's annual celebration. Knorr Cetina received the EUR 10,000 prize for her pioneering contributions to anthropology, sociology, and interdisciplinary science studies. The Gutenberg Research Award was launched in 2012 to distinguish outstanding international researchers in various disciplines. "This year, we again honor a globally eminent top-level researcher," said GRC Director Professor Thomas Hieke. Knorr Cetina is known, among other things, for her innovative studies of the working methods and practical rationality employed by natural scientists and foreign exchange traders. In 1981 she published a monograph entitled "The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science." Here she analyzed how scientists generate knowledge through their social and scientific practices. "In the 1980s, this study represented a breakthrough in international research in the subject and significantly contributed to the development of the interdisciplinary field of science studies that was just in the process of emerging at that time," explained Professor Herbert Kalthoff, who nominated Knorr Cetina for the 2017 Gutenberg Research Award and is the coordinator of the Social and Cultural Studies Mainz (SoCuM) Research Unit. Over the past few years, Knorr Cetina has published studies on the generation of economic knowledge through the interactions of traders in international financial markets and has thus opened up new perspectives for innovative interdisciplinary research. She is currently working on an analysis and description of the modern world in terms of what she calls a "synthetic society," in which human activities are linked through technical artifacts and virtual systems. "This offers great potential for the establishment of a fertile relationship with the JGU Research Unit SoCuM," added Kalthoff. After earning her doctorate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna and a subsequent degree in Sociology from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Knorr Cetina worked at the University of California in Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, Virginia State University, and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In 1983, she was appointed to a professorship at Bielefeld University. In 2001 she moved to the University of Konstanz and since 2010 she has been Professor for Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Chicago. "Knorr Cetina's academic career combines extensive interdisciplinarity and a genuine international background," concluded Kalthoff. "She acts as a link between European and Anglo-American sociology and her findings have had an impact far beyond her actual core disciplines."


This preclinical study evaluated both mechanical and chemical cornea sensitivities of experimental models in response to corneal injury and inflammatory pain after being treated twice a day with a drop of either PL265 (at a 10 mM concentration) or of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) in the right eye for five days. The results, which were presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2017 Annual Meeting in Baltimore on May 11, 2017, showed that topical instillation of PL265 significantly increased the corneal mechanical threshold on day 5 compared to PBS-treated in corneal injury models (49.00 ± 4.58 mg vs 29.60 ± 4.43). In inflammatory pain models, topical PL265 showed potent anti-nociceptive effects and models treated with PL265 exhibited an increased mechanical threshold at day 5 (61.00 ± 14.70 mg vs 24.00 ± 4.00 mg). In addition, the palpebral closure time induced by topical capsaicin (100 μM) was significantly decreased after PL265 treatment, in both corneal (97 vs 201 seconds) and inflammatory pain (70 vs 170 seconds) models. In non-operated models (without corneal injury), topical instillation of PL265 for 5 days did not alter the ocular surface or corneal mechanical sensitivity compared to PBS-treated models. Christophe Baudouin, Professor of Ophthalmology, Head of Department at the National Ophthalmology Hospital of Quinze-Vingts, Paris, Co-Director of the Research Unit S12 at The Vision Institute in Paris, Co-Author of the poster presented at the ARVO meeting stated, "These results are very encouraging as currently there are no topical ocular pain analgesics available for acute or chronic pain. Confirming these results in humans will be an important step in the development of PL265 for the treatment of Ocular Pain." The results of this study provide the first evidence that PL265 is highly effective in decreasing ocular pain after various experimental corneal lesions and also brings to light novel anti-inflammatory properties of the drug. It also proves that the drug has no anaesthetic properties in the absence of corneal injury. Pharmaleads is a world leader in the understanding of the role of enkephalins in the management of severe pain relief. Enkephalins are degraded by two enzymes, the enkephalinases NEP and APN, from the zinc-metallopeptidase family. Pharmaleads medicinal chemistry expertise has allowed the Company to develop drugs called DENKIs that inhibit these two enzymes enabling the reduction of pain by increasing the local concentrations of enkephalins. Thierry Bourbié, CEO of Pharmaleads, comments,"These results represent an important step in our understanding of the potential of PL265 and its broad utility to treat different types of chronic and acute pain and clearly support the potential of DENKIs in the treatment of ophthalmic eye diseases. Acute or chronic ocular pain affects millions of patients and there currently are no alternative treatments to anaesthetics which have many shortcomings. We believe that PL265, the only drug candidate that targets the two enzymes responsible for the degradation of enkephalins, could be the first safe and effective topical ocular analgesic with the potential to alleviate ocular pain and inflammation." Pharmaleads is looking for a partner to support the development of PL265 in the ophthalmology field. Pharmaleads is also developing an oral formulation of PL265 for the treatment of neuropathic pain. PL265 has completed Phase I single ascending dose (SAD) clinical trials and demonstrated good safety and tolerability. Pharmaleads anticipates to start a Phase I/IIa clinical trial with PL265 in ocular pain in 2018. Pharmaleads is an emerging pharmaceutical company developing innovative products for the management of acute and chronic severe pain, a growing market with significant unmet medical need.  Pharmaleads' drugs are based on its deep knowledge and understanding of enkephalins, a key element of the body's natural pain management system. Pharmaleads' products, (Dual ENKephalinase inhibitors) DENKIs, aim to protect enkephalins, hence increasing their local concentrations and thereby inducing a physiological analgesia which improves pain management. Pharmaleads has two products in clinical development which are targeting four multi-billion markets: PL265 is being developed for the treatment of neuropathic pain (oral) and ocular pain/dry eye syndrome (eye drops). PL37 is being developed for the treatment of post-surgical /breakthrough cancer pain as a substitute of injectable opiates (IV) and acute migraine pain (oral route) Pharmaleads was founded in 2000. It is headquartered in Paris, France, and is funded by Private investors. For more information about Pharmaleads please visit www.Pharmaleads.com For more information, please contact: Pharmaleads Michel Wurm, MD, Director, Corporate Development michel.wurm@pharmaleads.com +33-(0)-1-44-06-70-04 +33-(0)-6-09-97-81-04 Media Relations Citigate Dewe Rogerson David Dible, Sylvie Berrebi, Marine Perrier pharmaleads@citigatedr.co.uk Tel: +44-(0)-20-7638-9571


Flash Physics is our daily pick of the latest need-to-know developments from the global physics community selected by Physics World's team of editors and reporters The quantum properties of molecular ions have been controlled by physicists in the US and Germany. Led by Chin-wen Chou of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US, the researchers determined a molecular-ion's quantum state by transferring the information to an atomic ion. A calcium ion and calcium-hydride ion are first confined in an electromagnetic trap. The atomic ion is then laser cooled, which also slows the motion of the partner molecular ion. Although the molecular ion is now in its lowest-energy electronic and vibrational states, it still rotates randomly. A pulse of laser light is applied to the molecule at a frequency that targets only one, unique transition in its rotational spectrum. If the molecule does jump into the target state, the system remains motionless. But if it makes the transition, both ions start moving again because energy is returned to their shared motion. This movement can be detected by applying a laser pulse to the atomic ion that changes its internal state, causing it to scatter light that can be detected. Described in Nature, the method is an alternative to laser cooling and controlling molecules, which has proven very difficult to do. "Whatever trick you can play with atomic ions is now within reach with molecular ions," says Chou. "This is comparable to when scientists could first laser cool and trap atoms, opening the floodgates to applications in precision metrology and information processing. It's our dream to achieve all these things with molecules." The biophysicist Julia Goodfellow will be the next president of the UK's Royal Society of Biology (RSB). Currently vice chancellor of the University of Kent and president of Universities UK, Goodfellow did a PhD in biophysics at the Open University Research Unit before embarking on a career in biomolecular science at Birkbeck College, where she served as vice-master and head of the School of Crystallography. She has also served as chief executive of the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and chair of the British Science Association. Goodfellow will succeed the current RSB president Jean Thomas in May 2018 and will become the third president of the society since it was founded in 2009. "I look forward to working with the RSB to help strengthen the bioscience community they have successfully fostered, and ensure we are able to represent their views and priorities in the coming months and years," says Goodfellow. A hologram that switches between multiple images as the material used to generate it is stretched has been unveiled by Ritesh Agarwal and colleagues that the University of Pennsylvania in the US. The system is based on a metasurface, which is a flat, ultrathin material with nanometre-scale features. The team had previously shown that coherent light passing through such metasurfaces can produce colour holograms – 3D images created by the interference of light. Now, Agarwal and colleagues have created a metasurface by embedding gold nanorods in a stretchable film of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Using a computer simulation, the team worked-out the distribution of nanorods that would result in a sequence of different holograms as the film is stretched. In its relaxed state, a pentagon-shaped hologram forms 340 μm away from the film. As the material is stretched the hologram changes shape – changes first becoming a square and then a triangle. The team was also able to switch between a happy-face hologram and a sad face. The new technique could have applications in virtual reality, flat displays and optical communications and is described in ACS Nano.


This preclinical study evaluated both mechanical and chemical cornea sensitivities of experimental models in response to corneal injury and inflammatory pain after being treated twice a day with a drop of either PL265 (at a 10 mM concentration) or of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) in the right eye for five days. The results, which were presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2017 Annual Meeting in Baltimore on May 11, 2017, showed that topical instillation of PL265 significantly increased the corneal mechanical threshold on day 5 compared to PBS-treated in corneal injury models (49.00 ± 4.58 mg vs 29.60 ± 4.43). In inflammatory pain models, topical PL265 showed potent anti-nociceptive effects and models treated with PL265 exhibited an increased mechanical threshold at day 5 (61.00 ± 14.70 mg vs 24.00 ± 4.00 mg). In addition, the palpebral closure time induced by topical capsaicin (100 μM) was significantly decreased after PL265 treatment, in both corneal (97 vs 201 seconds) and inflammatory pain (70 vs 170 seconds) models. In non-operated models (without corneal injury), topical instillation of PL265 for 5 days did not alter the ocular surface or corneal mechanical sensitivity compared to PBS-treated models. Christophe Baudouin, Professor of Ophthalmology, Head of Department at the National Ophthalmology Hospital of Quinze-Vingts, Paris, Co-Director of the Research Unit S12 at The Vision Institute in Paris, Co-Author of the poster presented at the ARVO meeting stated, "These results are very encouraging as currently there are no topical ocular pain analgesics available for acute or chronic pain. Confirming these results in humans will be an important step in the development of PL265 for the treatment of Ocular Pain." The results of this study provide the first evidence that PL265 is highly effective in decreasing ocular pain after various experimental corneal lesions and also brings to light novel anti-inflammatory properties of the drug. It also proves that the drug has no anaesthetic properties in the absence of corneal injury. Pharmaleads is a world leader in the understanding of the role of enkephalins in the management of severe pain relief. Enkephalins are degraded by two enzymes, the enkephalinases NEP and APN, from the zinc-metallopeptidase family. Pharmaleads medicinal chemistry expertise has allowed the Company to develop drugs called DENKIs that inhibit these two enzymes enabling the reduction of pain by increasing the local concentrations of enkephalins. Thierry Bourbié, CEO of Pharmaleads, comments,"These results represent an important step in our understanding of the potential of PL265 and its broad utility to treat different types of chronic and acute pain and clearly support the potential of DENKIs in the treatment of ophthalmic eye diseases. Acute or chronic ocular pain affects millions of patients and there currently are no alternative treatments to anaesthetics which have many shortcomings. We believe that PL265, the only drug candidate that targets the two enzymes responsible for the degradation of enkephalins, could be the first safe and effective topical ocular analgesic with the potential to alleviate ocular pain and inflammation." Pharmaleads is looking for a partner to support the development of PL265 in the ophthalmology field. Pharmaleads is also developing an oral formulation of PL265 for the treatment of neuropathic pain. PL265 has completed Phase I single ascending dose (SAD) clinical trials and demonstrated good safety and tolerability. Pharmaleads anticipates to start a Phase I/IIa clinical trial with PL265 in ocular pain in 2018. Pharmaleads is an emerging pharmaceutical company developing innovative products for the management of acute and chronic severe pain, a growing market with significant unmet medical need.  Pharmaleads' drugs are based on its deep knowledge and understanding of enkephalins, a key element of the body's natural pain management system. Pharmaleads' products, (Dual ENKephalinase inhibitors) DENKIs, aim to protect enkephalins, hence increasing their local concentrations and thereby inducing a physiological analgesia which improves pain management. Pharmaleads has two products in clinical development which are targeting four multi-billion markets: PL265 is being developed for the treatment of neuropathic pain (oral) and ocular pain/dry eye syndrome (eye drops). PL37 is being developed for the treatment of post-surgical /breakthrough cancer pain as a substitute of injectable opiates (IV) and acute migraine pain (oral route) Pharmaleads was founded in 2000. It is headquartered in Paris, France, and is funded by Private investors. For more information about Pharmaleads please visit www.Pharmaleads.com For more information, please contact: Pharmaleads Michel Wurm, MD, Director, Corporate Development michel.wurm@pharmaleads.com +33-(0)-1-44-06-70-04 +33-(0)-6-09-97-81-04 Media Relations Citigate Dewe Rogerson David Dible, Sylvie Berrebi, Marine Perrier pharmaleads@citigatedr.co.uk Tel: +44-(0)-20-7638-9571

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