Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients

Nov 10, 2010

Scientists are reporting development of a long-sought method with the potential for getting medication through a biological barrier that surrounds the brain, where it may limit the brain damage caused by stroke. Their approach for sneaking the nerve-protective drug erythropoietin into the brain is medicine's version of the Trojan Horse ploy straight out of ancient Greek legend. It also could help people with traumatic head injuries, Parkinson's disease, and other chronic brain disorders. Their report appears in ACS' Molecular Pharmaceutics.

William Pardridge and colleagues explain that is a protective protein that has engendered great medical interest for its potential in protecting cut off from their normal blood supply by a stroke, or brain attack. Tests, however, show that erythropoietin, like other drugs, cannot penetrate a tightly-knit layer of cells called the blood-brain-barrier that surrounds and protects the brain from disease-causing and other harmful material. Other proteins, however, can penetrate the barrier, and the scientists decided to test one of them as a Trojan Horse to sneak in erythropoietin.

The researchers found an antibody that can go through the blood brain barrier and linked it to erythropoietin to make a hybrid protein. Tests showed that the approach worked in laboratory mice, with the hybrid protein successfully penetrating the blood-brain barrier. The advance will allow scientists to begin testing erythropoietin's effects on mice with simulated stroke and other disorders, so that scientists can establish the most effective dose and best timing for possible future tests in humans.

Explore further: Health care M&A leads global deal surge

More information: "Re-engineering erythropoietin as an IgG fusion protein that penetrates the blood-brain barrier in the mouse", Molecular Pharmaceutics.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Engineering a 'Trojan horse' to sneak drugs into the brain

Sep 13, 2006

Beset by a host of debilitating and potentially fatal disorders, the human brain is in desperate need of a few good drugs. The catch, however, is that nature has set up a roadblock known as the blood-brain barrier — intended ...

Toward the first nose drops to treat brain cancer

Sep 22, 2010

Scientists are reporting the development and successful initial testing of a new form of methotrexate -- the mainstay anticancer drug -- designed to be given as nose drops rather than injected. It shows promise as a more ...

Recommended for you

Health care M&A leads global deal surge

16 hours ago

In a big year for deal making, the health care industry is a standout. Large drugmakers are buying and selling businesses to control costs and deploy surplus cash. A rising stock market, tax strategies and ...

US approves new, hard-to-abuse hydrocodone pill (Update)

Nov 20, 2014

U.S. government health regulators on Thursday approved the first hard-to-abuse version of the painkiller hydrocodone, offering an alternative to a similar medication that has been widely criticized for lacking ...

Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny

Nov 20, 2014

Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington ...

Only half of patients take their medications as prescribed

Nov 20, 2014

The cost of patients not taking their medications as prescribed can be substantial in terms of their health. Although a large amount of research evidence has tried to address this problem, there are no well-established ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.