Welsh shingles drug set for final hurdle

Mar 23, 2010

A new Welsh-developed drug to help alleviate the suffering of shingles could move a step closer for patients if the final stage of testing is given the go-ahead.

A new shingles drug (FV-100), discovered by Professor Chris McGuigan's team from Cardiff University's Welsh School of Pharmacy together with a virology group at the Rega Institute in Belgium and US biopharmaceutical company, Inhibitex Inc, is due to complete Phase II of its clinical trials.

If the drug completes Phase II it will enter the third and final stage which could see the drug being available to patients in less than three years.

Cardiff University's Professor of Medical Chemistry, Chris McGuigan, who led the team which discovered the new , said: "We are now entering the final and most crucial stage in the journey from the discovery of a new drug to the market.

"If we successfully complete this stage the drug would be available to help alleviate the and suffering for millions of shingles patients, not only in Wales but across the world."

Shingles is caused by the same viral infection that causes chicken pox. It is estimated that one-in-five people in the US, Europe and Japan will be affected by the condition during their lifetime.

The condition is characterised by , blisters and rash, and acute pain, and in many cases, post-herpetic neuralgia which is a painful and often highly distressing condition resulting from caused by the virus. Initial tests of FV-100 showed it has the potential to greatly reduce all of these symptoms.

In Phase I trials of FV-100, no serious adverse events in healthy volunteers were reported and data supported the potential for once-a-day dosing in future trials.Previous lab research has also shown the drug to be up to 10,000 times more potent against the virus than existing treatments.

Professor McGuigan added: "We believe this drug has the potential to be the most powerful inhibitor ever discovered to treat shingles.

"Each year only 15-20 new medicines are approved for clinical use and the chance of FV100 becoming an approved medicine improves the further we successfully progress through each of the clinical stages.

"We are incredibly excited at the prospect of FV-100 becoming commercially available in the future, and potentially being the first drug discovered in Cardiff University to make it to the marketplace."

Explore further: Xtoro approved for swimmer's ear

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oxycodone Effective Against Shingles Pain

Mar 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The painkiller oxycodone is effective at treating the acute pain of shingles, an illness that often causes severe pain which can become long-lasting and sometimes even permanent.

Sunshine pill for prostate cancer in 2009

Jan 16, 2007

A tablet designed to emulate the healing power of the sun could be available for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer as early as 2009. But it remains to be seen whether the drug will be the revolution in prostate cancer ...

Ocular shingles linked to increased risk of stroke

Mar 03, 2010

Having a shingles infection that affects the eyes may increase the risk of stroke, according to new research published in the March 3, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurol ...

Recommended for you

Xtoro approved for swimmer's ear

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Xtoro (finafloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat swimmer's ear, clinically known as acute otitis externa.

Drug interaction identified for ondansetron, tramadol

22 hours ago

(HealthDay)—In the early postoperative period, ondansetron is associated with increased requirements for tramadol consumption, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Dec. 10 in Anaesthesia.

New system targets germs in donated blood plasma

Dec 17, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new system designed to eliminate germs in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transmitting a plasma-borne infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Judge halts Alzheimer's drug swap until July

Dec 16, 2014

A federal judge has ordered an Irish drug manufacturer to halt its plans to discontinue its widely used Alzheimer's medication, allegedly in an effort to drive patients to a newer patented drug.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

baudrunner
not rated yet Mar 23, 2010
That's a great step forward for medicine. If this research could be adapted to the development of a vaccine, then the HSV1 (herpes simplex virus) could be eradicated worldwide. Shingles is caused by a resurgance of HSV1, which lies dormant for many years in the root nerves, until reactivated by stress factors. The ramifications are enormous, since over 90% of the plaques in the autopsied brains of former Alzheimer patients contain DNA fragments of HSV1, pointing to a link.

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.