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US government grants Samaritan benzodiazepine receptor patent

By Wai Lang Chu , 29-Jun-2006

Samaritan Pharmaceuticals has announced the issuance of a patent relating to its work on peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor associated proteins, an emerging drug target that has found function in cancer progression and Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Benzodiazepines are among the most highly prescribed drugs due to their pharmacological actions in relieving anxiety mediated through modulating the activity of gamma.-aminobutyric acid receptors in the central nervous system.

The issued patent identifies peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor associated proteins, such as PAP7, and its ability to interact with and regulate the function of the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor, a key mitochondrial protein also involved in steroid biosynthesis and cell proliferation,

 

"Our clinical and scientific programs continue to generate an expanding array of new patent developments and this patent represents yet another milestone in Samaritan's intellectual property strategy," said Eugene Boyle, CFO of Samaritan.

 

Samaritan has a number of drug candidates in its pipeline, and the granting of this patent by the US Patent Office, sends a clear signal of its intentions to expand its worldwide patent portfolio in support of its proprietary product development programs.

 

Its candidate drug SP-233 for Alzheimer's has been shown its to protect neurons against beta-amyloid-induced toxicity.

 

SP-233 has also demonstrated binding to beta-amyloid peptide, preventing its liberalisation and entry into neurons, protect neuronal mitochondria from beta-amyloid-induced damage, and maintain neuronal cell energy levels.

 

The number of Americans with Alzheimer's has more than doubled since 1980 to the current estimate of 4.5m.

 

By 2050, the number of people with AD could range from 11.3m to 16m. One in 10 individuals over age 65 and nearly half over 85 are affected. Half of all nursing home residents have AD or a related disorder.

 

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