The potential of Topoisomerase II as an anticancer drug target

By Yawen (Angela) Yang Topoisomerase II (TOP2) is an enzyme engaged in DNA replication, transcription and chromosomal segregation.1 During DNA replication and transcription, DNA helicase separates double-stranded DNA into single strands. However, helicase cannot unwind DNA indefinitely because DNA ahead of the replication fork becomes overwound and forms supercoils. The tension built up makes DNAContinue reading “The potential of Topoisomerase II as an anticancer drug target”

Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury

By Jessica Lu Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the most common cause of acute liver failure in Europe and in the USA.1 For some drugs such as acetaminophen, DILI is dose-dependent, predictable, and reproducible in preclinical models. However, DILI onset may also be idiosyncratic – characterised by a variable latency to onset (weeks to months)Continue reading Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury

A next-generation vaccine platform—self-amplifying mRNA(saRNA)

By Victoria Zhang The world has witnessed a shift towards using synthetic RNA platforms for vaccine development during the COVID-19 pandemic, where non-replicating mRNA vaccines play a crucial role.1 But non-replicating mRNA vaccines are not the only type of RNA molecules used in the RNA vaccine family, the other two types being base-modified non-amplifying mRNA(bmRNA)Continue reading A next-generation vaccine platform—self-amplifying mRNA(saRNA)

COVID Oral Antivirals: The next chapter in COVID Therapeutics 

By Souheil-Eddine Zitouni  Over the past couple of months, two oral antiviral drugs have been branded to reduce COVID-19 deaths and admission into hospital after clinical studies of patients treated readily after initial infection. If these trends are replicated in a real-life setting, these antivirals could forge the next chapters of what has seemed toContinue reading COVID Oral Antivirals: The next chapter in COVID Therapeutics 

Nanoparticle-based drug delivery in cancer therapy

By Martina Torcè Innovative drug delivery systems are important in the development of cancer therapy due to the need for precise and contained targeting of the cancerous tissue. The chemotherapeutic agents usually contained in cancer drugs are often delivered non-specifically, which ends up causing high toxicity for the surrounding healthy cells and resulting in lowContinue reading Nanoparticle-based drug delivery in cancer therapy

The development of quantitative structure-metabolism relationships for drug discovery and safety

By Andrea Flores Esparza and Karishma Krishna  In 2020, more than 2.5 million animals were used in scientific research in the UK.1 The use of animals in pharmaceutical development pipelines poses significant ethical, financial, and translational challenges – and there is an urgent need for technologies that facilitate efficient drug discovery whilst reducing the needContinue reading “The development of quantitative structure-metabolism relationships for drug discovery and safety”

Crizanlizumab – the new drug that will change the lives of sickle cell disease patients

By Iulia Kis Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood-related disease, presenting in an estimated 20-25 million people.1 SCD significantly reduces the quality of life of affected patients due to its characteristic presence of sickle haemoglobin (HbS) leading to conditions such as vaso-occlusive crises (crises related to SCD-related pain), organ dysfunction andContinue reading “Crizanlizumab – the new drug that will change the lives of sickle cell disease patients”

Unlocking further potential of current clinical drugs with biased agonists and allosteric modulators

By Kilian Robinson GPCR’s are transmembrane proteins that are involved in a multitude of physiological processes and therefore have been attractive targets for drugs in recent years. In fact, approximately 34% of drugs passed by the FDA work to target GPCR’s and these include some of the most important clinically used drugs, such as antihistaminesContinue reading “Unlocking further potential of current clinical drugs with biased agonists and allosteric modulators”

The Use of Cannabinoids in Modern Medicine

By Sophie Blagg The Cannabis sativa plant has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for many centuries, with the first evidence of use dating back to around 4,000 B.C. (Zuardi, 2006). During the 20th century the use of cannabis drastically reduced when many countries illegalised cannabinoid substances (Zuardi, 2006), likely due to research intoContinue reading The Use of Cannabinoids in Modern Medicine

Why is pancreatic cancer so lethal?

By Yuki Agarwala Pancreatic cancer is known to be one of the deadliest cancers in the world: in the UK, the survival rate is only 7.3% after 5 years, and drops to under 2% after 10 years (Pancreatic cancer, 2021). As the 10th most common cancer in the UK, pancreatic cancer is not extremely common,Continue reading “Why is pancreatic cancer so lethal?”