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1.  Comparative effectiveness of aflibercept for the treatment of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration 
Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common reason for vision loss in the United States. Many treatments, such as laser therapy and photodynamic therapies, have been used but their efficacy is limited. Emerging anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapies are now considered the standard of care. Anti-VEGF agents inhibit angiogenesis in the eye by suppressing abnormal blood vessel growth, leading to vision improvement. Ranibizumab and bevacizumab are two examples of anti-VEGF drugs that have been approved; both showed promise based on the visual acuity scale. Aflibercept, another new therapy known to trap VEGF and inhibit multiple growth factors, is promising not only because it can be taken bimonthly based on year 1 of the VIEW trials, but it can also be extended, as demonstrated in year 2 of the VIEW trials. Based on a cost–effect analysis, aflibercept is comparable to other leading therapies. This is a review of relevant clinical trials that have proven the non-inferiority and safety of aflibercept compared to the standard of care and its unique role in the current management of wet AMD.
doi:10.2147/OPTH.S29974
PMCID: PMC3595183  PMID: 23503202
aflibercept; VEGF; anti-VEGF; pegatanib; bevacizumab; ranibizumab; VIEW trials
2.  High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Modulation Targets 
Drugs of the future  2010;35(1):33-39.
Given the strong genetic determinants of favorable HDL-C levels, the ability to procure the cardiovascular disease and longevity benefits associated with this mediator of the reverse cholesterol transport pathway through pharmaceutical intervention is challenging. Niacin is still the most robust HDL-C raising pharmaceutical agent on the market at its use leads to elevations up to 35%. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and endothelial lipase (EL) are two targets involved in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway that have become therapeutic targets of various investigations for raising HDL. However, the Investigation of Lipid Level Management to Understand its Impact in Atherosclerotic Events (ILLUMINATE) trial was stopped in December 2006 due to excess mortality in the group of patients treated with torcetrapib, a CETP inhibitor. Other CETP inhibitors being studied include anacetrapib and JTT-705. Other CEPT inhibitors including TA-8995, DRL-17822, JTT-302, and others are under investigation. Additionally a biologic target CETi-1, an investigational vaccine in phase II development designed to elicit antibodies that bind and inhibit the activity of CETP leading to blocking the ability of the protein to transfer cholesterol from HDL to LDL and thus causing HDL cholesterol levels to rise is under clinical investigation for sometime.
PMCID: PMC3381456  PMID: 22740724
High Density lipoprotein (HDL); Low Density lipoprotein (LDL); atherosclerosis; coronary heart disease (CHD); Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP); Endothelial Lipase; Longevity; Stroke; Coronary artery Diseases (CAD); cardiovascular diseases (CVD); Inflammation; genetics; niacin; statins; fibrates
3.  Current status and future directions in the management of chronic hepatitis C 
Virology Journal  2012;9:57.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is endemic worldwide, and it causes cirrhosis and other complications that often lead to death; nevertheless, our knowledge of the disease and its mechanisms is limited. HCV is most common in underdeveloped nations, including many in Africa and Asia. The virus is usually transmitted by parenteral routes, but sexual, perinatal, and other types of transfer have been known to occur. Approximately 80% of individuals who contract hepatitis C develop a chronic infection, and very few are able to spontaneously clear the virus. Because hepatitis C is asymptomatic in the majority of patients, the presence of HCV RNA in the serum is the best diagnostic tool. Although serious complications from hepatitis C may not occur for 20 years, 1/5 of chronic patients eventually develop life - threatening cirrhosis. More research is needed on the different therapy options for the disease, and many factors, most importantly the genotype of the virus, must be taken into account before beginning any treatment. As there is no vaccine against HCV at present, the most effective and recommended therapy is pegylated-interferon-α-2a plus ribavirin. While interferon is marginally effective as a monotherapy, both adding the moiety and combining it with ribavirin have been shown to dramatically increase its potency. While there are numerous alternative and complementary medicines available for patients with hepatitis C, their efficacy is questionable. Currently, research is being done to investigate other possible treatments for hepatitis C, and progress is being made to develop a vaccine against HCV, despite the many challenges the virus presents. Until such a vaccination is available, prevention and control methods are important in containing and impeding the spread of the virus and mitigating its deleterious effects on the health of people and communities worldwide.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-57
PMCID: PMC3325870  PMID: 22385500
Hepatitis C; Fibrosis; Cirrhosis; Hepatic carcinoma; Prevention; Treatment; Antiviral
4.  Sulfonation of papain treated chitosan and its mechanism for anticoagulant activity 
Carbohydrate research  2009;344(10):1190-1196.
The novel low molecular weight chitosan polysulfate (MW 5,120–26,200 Da) was prepared using the depolymerization of chitosan with papain (EC. 3.4.22.2). The sulfonation of depolymerized products was performed using chlorosulfonic acid in N, N-dimethylformamide under semi-heterogeneous conditions. The structures of the products were characterized by FTIR, 13C NMR, and 1H NMR (1D, 2D NMR) spectroscopy. The present study sheds light on the mechanism of anticoagulant activity of chitosan polysulfate. Anticoagulant activity was investigated by an activated partial thromboplastin assay, a thrombin time assay, a prothrombin time assay and thrombelastography. Surface plasmon resonance also provided valuable data for understanding the relationship between the molecular binding of sulfated chitosan to two important blood clotting regulators, antithrombin III and heparin cofactor II. These results show that the principal mechanism by which this chitosan polysulfate exhibits anticoagulant activity is mediated through heparin cofactor II and is dependent on polysaccharide molecular weight.
doi:10.1016/j.carres.2009.04.016
PMCID: PMC2727590  PMID: 19476923
5.  Synthesis of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles Stabilized with Glycosaminoglycans having Distinctive Biological Activities 
Biomacromolecules  2009;10(3):589-595.
Metal nanoparticles have been studied for their anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory efficacy in various models. Specifically, gold and silver nanoparticles exhibit properties that make these ideal candidates for biological applications. The typical synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles incorporates contaminants that could pose further problems. Here we demonstrate a clean method of synthesizing gold and silver nanoparticles that exhibit biological functions. These nanoparticles were prepared by reducing AuCl4 and AgNO3 using heparin and hyaluronan, as both reducing and stabilizing agents. The particles show stability under physiological conditions, and narrow size distributions for heparin particles and wider distribution for hyaluronan particles. Studies show that the heparin nanoparticles exhibit anticoagulant properties. Additionally, either gold- or silver- heparin nanoparticles exhibit local anti-inflammatory properties without any significant effect on systemic hemostasis upon administration in carrageenan-induced paw edema models. In conclusion, gold and silver nanoparticles complexed with heparin demonstrated effective anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory efficacy, having potential in various local applications.
doi:10.1021/bm801266t
PMCID: PMC2765565  PMID: 19226107
6.  Current status and future directions in lipid management: emphasizing low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides as targets for therapy 
Current lipid management guidelines are focused on decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) levels as the primary target for reducing coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. Yet, many recent studies suggest that low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) are a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. According to several clinical trials, a 1% increase in HDL-C is associated with a 0.7%–3% decrease in CHD events. The direct link between high levels of triglycerides (TG) and CHD, on the other hand, is less well defined. A large reduction in TG is needed to show a difference in CHD events, especially in men. Evidence for a shift in lipid management toward targeting both LDL-C and HDL-C as primary targets for therapy is presented. Currently, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylgutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) have proven to significantly decrease LDL-C levels, reduce CHD morbidity/mortality and improve overall survival. However, improvement of survival with statins may be due to other pleiotropic effects beyond LDL-C lowering. Fibric acid derivatives and niacin are primarily used to increase HDL-C levels, although with side effects. Future therapies targeting HDL-C may have profound results on reducing CHD morbidity and mortality. This article highlights existing and future targets in lipid management and is based on available clinical data. There is an urgent need for new treatments using a combination of drugs targeting both LDL-C and HDL-C. Such treatments are expected to have a superior outcome for dyslipidemia therapy, along with TG management.
PMCID: PMC2835557  PMID: 20234782
cholesterol; lipid; LDL-C; HDL-C; triglycerides; statin; nicotinic acid; fibric acid; atherosclerosis; coronary heart diseases
7.  Pharmacogenomics in type II diabetes mellitus management: Steps toward personalized medicine 
Advances in genotype technology in the last decade have put the pharmacogenomics revolution at the forefront of future medicine in clinical practice. Discovery of novel gene variations in drug transporters, drug targets, effector proteins and metabolizing enzymes in the form of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) continue to provide insight into the biological phenomena that govern drug efficacy and toxicity. To date, novel gene discoveries extracted from genome-wide association scans and candidate gene studies in at least four antidiabetic drug classes have helped illuminate possible causes of interindividual variability in response. Inadequate protocol guidelines for pharmacogenomics studies often leads to poorly designed studies, making it hard to formulate a definitive conclusion regarding the clinical relevance of the information at hand. These issues, along with the ethical, social, political, legislative, technological, and economic challenges associated with pharmacogenomics have only delayed its entry to mainstream clinical practice. On the other hand, these issues are being actively pursued and rapid progress is being made in each area which assures the possibility of gaining widespread acceptance in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3513204  PMID: 23226037
pharmacogenomics; genetics; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; personalized medicine; type 2 diabetes; pharmacotherapy; antidiabetic drugs; efficacy, and safety
8.  Pharmacogenomics in osteoporosis: Steps toward personalized medicine 
Osteoporosis is a complicated and preventable disease with major morbidity complications that affects millions of people. In the last 15 years, there have been numerous studies and research in the new fields of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics related to osteoporosis. Numerous “candidate genes” have been identified and have been found to be associated with osteoporosis as well as the treatment of osteoporosis. Many studies have found conflicting results on different polymorphisms and whether or not they are related to bone mineral density and osteoporosis. There is a need for larger and better designed pharmacogenomic studies related to osteoporosis incorporating a greater variety of candidate genes. The evaluation of osteoporosis and fracture risk is moving from a risk stratification approach to a more individualized approach, in which an individual’s absolute risk of fracture is evaluable as a constellation of the individual’s environmental exposure and genetic makeup. Therefore, the identification of gene variants associated with osteoporosis phenotypes or response to therapy might help individualize the prognosis, treatment, and prevention of fracture. This review focuses on major candidate genes and what needs to be done to take the genetics of osteoporosis and incorporate them into the pharmacogenomics of the management of osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3513203  PMID: 23226036
pharmacogenomics; osteoporosis; VDR; ER-alpha; CYP19 Gene; LRP5; COLIA1; polymorphisms; genetics
9.  Pharmacogenomics in cardiovascular disorders: Steps in approaching personalized medicine in cardiovascular medicine 
Some of the most commonly prescribed medications are those for cardiovascular maladies. The beneficial effects of these medications have been well documented. However, there can be substantial variation in response to these medications among patients, which may be due to genetic variation. For this reason pharmacogenomic studies are emerging across all aspects of cardiovascular medicine. The goal of pharmacogenomics is to tailor treatment to an individual’s genetic makeup in order to improve the benefit-to-risk ratio. This review examines the potential pharmacogenomic parameters which may lead to a future of personalized medicine. For example, it has been found that patients with CYP2C9 and VKORC1 gene variations have a different response to warfarin. Other studies looking at β-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, diuretics and statins have shown some results linking genetic variations to pharmacologic response. However these studies have not impacted clinical use yet, unlike warfarin findings, as the small retrospective studies need to be followed up by larger prospective studies for definitive results.
PMCID: PMC3513202  PMID: 23226035
cardiovascular; pharmacogenomics; genetics; cardiovascular medicine; personalized medicine; polymorphism
10.  Polycystic ovary syndrome and its impact on women’s quality of life: More than just an endocrine disorder 
In the past, polycystic ovary syndrome has been looked at primarily as an endocrine disorder. Studies now show that polycystic ovary syndrome is a metabolic, hormonal, and psychosocial disorder that impacts a patient’s quality of life. It is extremely important to holistically treat these patients early on to help them deal with the emotional stress that is often overlooked with polycystic ovary syndrome. Early diagnosis and long term management can help control polycystic ovary syndrome so that women can still live a healthy active life and avoid long-term complications such as metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3108690  PMID: 21701605
polycystic ovary syndrome; quality of life; sexual satisfaction; infertility; psychological distress; hirsutism; metabolic syndrome

Results 1-10 (10)