Magazine article Drug Topics

In Disguise

Magazine article Drug Topics

In Disguise

Article excerpt

Type A, B, AB, or O? It may no longer matter during blood transfusions between individuals. Biomedical Frontiers Inc., Minneapolis, is coating living cells with polyethylene glycol-a biochemical polymer that camouflages cellular antigens on donor cells. The technique prevents recognition and subsequent destruction of blood cells by the recipient's immune system. Biomedical claims that the novel technology, currently under development, may also be used to improve success of organ transplantation.

A harvest of nerves

Break a nail--it will grow back. Break a nerve-out of luck? Maybe not, according to Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. Apparently its investigational class of agents has regenerated damaged nerves in laboratory animals with Parkinsonlike syndrome, eliminating most of the associated symptoms. Researchers claim the small-molecule compounds that can pass through the blood brain barrier have also stimulated growth of nerve cells damaged by Alzheimer's disease in test-tube experiments. GPI1046, the first from the class, may enter human clinical trials within the year.

Second chance

A morning-after pill for AIDS? According to POZ, an HIV/AIDS information magazine, a San Francisco General Hospital study will test a month-long post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) course of AZT/3TC/indinavir on 500 patients exposed to HIV within 72 hours of treatment. Participants must still test negative to be included in the study and will be followed for a year to see whether they remain uninfected. Unlike AZT monotherapy, the current standard PEP treatment, this cocktail carries dosing and sideeffect complications, making compliance a debatable issue. …

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