By Sean Marshall
Another step forward this week for drug treatment of sickle cell anemia. According to jamanetwork.com, JAMA standing for The Journal of the American Medical Association, there is a new sickle cell drug candidate under development. In a previous news update from thesickleinme.com we mentioned a new drug called Aes-103 and how it was being tested on animals in the hope to one day fight sickle cell disease in human beings.
The good news is that The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported that for the first time “a pharmaceutical company has acquired a drug candidate developed with resources from a National Institutes of Health program for rare and neglected diseases.” The top disease on the list is in fact sickle cell anemia.
According to JAMA “The drug, called Aes-103, treats sickle cell disease by binding directly to hemoglobin and changing its structure.” In other words the drug reduces “the sickling of red blood cells.” Not only can it reduce the sickling of red blood cells but “it is the first drug specifically developed to target the underlying molecular mechanism of sickle cell disease.”
If you would like to learn more about the drug you can go to JAMA’s website and read the article here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1899183
New scientific findings link sickle cell and malaria. In an update from sciencebriefs.com, The Duke Medical Center have discovered a link between the micro RNA, RNA being an even smaller biological marker the DNA, in sickle cells and growth of the parasitic activity that causes malaria.
Duke University originally set out to test genetic material in red blood cells to figure out what could slow down malaria growth. It was explained that malaria is caused by “a parasitic gene regulation,” this gene regulation allows the virus to cause sickness. The article mentioned that “Duke Researchers discovered that genetic material in red blood cells may help alter parasite activity via a novel mechanism that changes parasite gene regulation.”
Acceding to a quote from Dr. Jen-Tsan Chi a senior author and associate professor “sickle red cells directly participate in the gene regulation of malaria parasites,” Dr. Jen-Tsan further explained that “These microRNAs enriched in the sickle red cells reduce the parasite’s ability to propagate, so that certain people stay more protected.”
With this scientific advancement, in an ironic twist one day sickle cell disease may just save lives.
If you would like to learn more about malaria and its links to sickle cell you can follow the link provided: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/08/24/5118987/science-briefs-sickle-cells-combat.html#.U__ggKNTxtN
Or if you would like to read the original journal of medicine research you can go to: http://www.corporate.dukemedicine.org
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