Welsh shingles drug set for final hurdle

March 23, 2010, Cardiff University

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."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Complex inhalers prevent patients from taking medicine

February 23, 2018
Respiratory disease patients with arthritis could struggle to manage their conditions because their inhalers are too fiddly for them to use, University of Bath research has found.

Opioid abuse leads to heroin use and a hepatitis C epidemic, researcher says

February 22, 2018
Heroin is worse than other drugs because people inject it much sooner, potentially resulting in increased risk of injection-related epidemics such as hepatitis C and HIV, a Keck School of Medicine of USC study shows.

Opioid addiction treatment behind bars reduced post-incarceration overdose deaths in RI

February 14, 2018
A treatment program for opioid addiction launched by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections was associated with a significant drop in post-incarceration drug overdose deaths and contributed to an overall drop in overdose ...

Heroin vaccine blocks lethal overdose

February 14, 2018
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have achieved a major milestone toward designing a safe and effective vaccine to both treat heroin addiction and block lethal overdose of the drug. Their research, published ...

Study shows NIH spent >$100 billion on basic science for new medicines

February 12, 2018
Federally funded research contributed to the science underlying all new medicines approved by the FDA over the past six years, according to a new study by Bentley University.

Opioid use increases risk of serious infections

February 12, 2018
Opioid users have a significantly increased risk of infections severe enough to require treatment at the hospital, such as pneumonia and meningitis, as compared to people who don't use opioids.

1 comment

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.