Monday, July 24, 2006

Involvement of GSK-3 in inflammation...FDA approves the use of Symbicort as a maintenance treatment of asthma

Todays Headlines from across the DailyUpdates network
  • Featured Journal Article (from DailyUpdates-Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases): Involvement of GSK-3 in inflammation [Licensing Option] Glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3b) is a serine threonine kinase with a broad array of cellular targets, such as cytoskeletal proteins and transcription factors. Since the mid-1990s there has been a near exponential rise in the level of GSK-3 related research and the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors has become a major area of pharmaceutical interest. Initial targets of GSK-3 inhibitors were metabolic disorder, neurodegenerative diseases and potential psychiatric conditions. Today’s featured research suggests a role for GSK-3b in the control of inflammation. Previous research has implicated GSK-3b in NFkappaB pathways which in turn regulate the expression of inflammatory genes. Now researchers from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in the US have reported direct evidence to show that GSK-3b is a negative regulator of cytokine expression by endothelial cells. In vivo studies reported that transfection of animals with GSK-3b reduces inflammation suggesting a novel approach to various conditions; on the other hand it reveals potential risks for the development of GSK-3 inhibitors. This is particularly the case for candidates being developed for metabolic disease given the potential role of inflammation in cardiovascular aspects of diabetes [J Biol Chem. 2006 Apr 19; [Epub ahead of print] ]
  • Featured News Item (from DailyUpdates-Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases): FDA approves the use of Symbicort as a maintenance treatment of asthma Global asthma/COPD sales should grow to $23 billion by 2014, with inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting bronchodilator combinations set to be the leading class by value in 2014, followed by leukotriene antagonists, and anticholinergics (see our feature on Asthma and COPD). One of the most successful combinations is Symbicort, marketed by AstraZeneca, which provides the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide (Pulmicort) and the rapid and long-acting bronchodilator formoterol (Oxis) in a single dose adjustable inhaler (Turbuhaler). Symbicort is indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma. Although it won initial approval in Sweden as long ago as 2000, FDA approval has, as announced in today’s featured press release, only just been granted. Even prior to US market entry, annual sales were in excess of $1 billion, largely due to European success. Approval from the FDA should lift sales of Symbicort considerably although AstraZeneca does not plan to launch Symbicort in the US until mid 2007. AstraZeneca has also filed for European approval of Symbicort for the maintenance and acute symptomologic relief (SMART) of asthma. It is not clear whether AstraZeneca’s delay in launching Symbicort in the US is related to this European filing [source: AstraZeneca]


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