Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Presbyterian Research Center Develops Remedies for Gastronintestinal Problems

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Presbyterian Research Center Develops Remedies for Gastronintestinal Problems

Article excerpt

Tucked away among the secrets of Oklahoma City's multi-billion dollar health care complex is a fascinating little research center at Presbyterian Hospital.

Not only does it attract the attention of the nation's major pharmaceutical companies, it also attracts upwards of $1 million a year in private funding. Money and certain economic benefits are a part of the story. Equally important, the drug research carried out here likely will have far-reaching effects on the health of people everywhere.

At the moment, most of the 20 research projects under way are concentrating on remedies for gastrointestinal problems.

The scientist-administrator who stays atop all these investigations is Dr. Bill Orr, who heads the department of clinical physiology. The clinical expertise is provided by gastroenterologist Dr. Malcolm Robinson.

Presbyterian's drug research has generated over $1 million in funding in less than two years.

"And you get that by performance," says Orr. "In all modesty, I think we've achieved a substantial national reputation."

The drug companies seek out Orr and his Presbyterian colleagues. The Oklahoma researchers do not approach the companies with hats in hand.

"We're not an agent of just one company," the administrator assures visitors.

Indeed, they are not. No fewer than 10 companies are awaiting results from 16 separate projects. Among the companies are such ethical pharmaceutical manufacturers as Roche, Searle and Warner Lambert.

For Searle, the research center is testing a prostaglandin compound for control of peptic diseases.

For Roche, a current study is gathering data on a drug that may be helpful in the treatment of a common gastroenterological disorder - irritable bowel syndrome. Old timers will remember the problemas spastic colon. …

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