Many drugs are aimed at enhancing the therapeutic potential of nitric oxide (NO) in the cardiovascular system. These generally lack selectivity, hence there is a need to treat diseased tissues more specifically in order to restore their function. This can be achieved by boosting the natural enzymatic synthesis of NO, which is impaired in pulmonary hypertension, atherosclerosis and diabetes. Tetrahydrobiopterin itself is available for clinical use but oral administration has shown limited efficacy.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have created small novel analogues of the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin. The new analogues can selectively enhance NO activity in damaged blood vessels more effectively than the natural substance. By enhancing the NO activity, the enzymatic activity is restored, thus preventing progression of the disease.
· Drug-like small molecules active in vivo
· Nitric oxide activity can be enhanced selectively
· Correction of endothelium dysfunction without adversely affecting normal tissue
· Target diseases: pulmonary hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis
· Novel chemistry
· Novel mechanism of action
· Greater potency than current treatments
Markets and Applications
This technology can enhance the therapeutic potential of NO in the cardiovascular system and thereby be used in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension, atherosclerosis, and complications of diabetes.
Atherosclerosis is responsible for more deaths in the US more than any other condition. Around 25% of Americans develop signs or symptoms of atherosclerosis during their lifetime. The market is expected to grow to $17.6 billion by 2017.
Pulmonary hypertension is also big business with an expected market value of $3.6 billion by 2015.
Contact is welcomed from organisations interested in developing, licensing or exploiting this technology.