Purdue professor Riyi Shi conducts research at his laboratory on how hydralazine affects multiple sclerosis symptoms. A provisional patent has been filed on Shi’s research, and commercialization partners are being sought. Credit: Andrew Hancock
suffering from multiple sclerosis may benefit if patent-pending research
conducted at Purdue
Univ. shows that a
decades-old drug approved by the FDA to treat hypertension also can delay the
onset and reduce the severity of MS symptoms.
professor Riyi Shi is examining the effects of hydralazine on acrolein, a
compound that can affect the central nervous system and damage nerve cells.
Acrolein causes harm by reacting with the proteins and lipids that make up
cells, including neurons. Hydralazine sequesters acrolein and acrolein-protein
compounds, leading to their expulsion from the body.
hydralazine was once standard therapy, it currently is not widely used to treat
hypertension because there are newer therapies available. It is reserved for
people resistant to other hypertension drugs,” said Shi, a medical doctor
and a professor of neuroscience and biomedical engineering in Purdue’s
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Center for
Paralysis Research and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.
research focuses on discovering the effective dosage levels necessary to combat
usage in pediatric patients is 7.5 mg per kg of body weight, but we began testing
at a much lower ratio: 1 mg per kg of body weight, which has turned out to be
effective in delaying the onset of symptoms and lowering their severity in an
animal model of MS,” he said. “We have discovered that this dosage
level does not cause a significant blood pressure drop or other side effects
associated with using higher dosage levels for extended periods of time. We
expect that potential use in human MS patients would be at significantly lower
doses than the treatment for hypertension.”
results have been promising in animal testing, Shi stressed that hydralazine
therapy for MS is not yet ready for clinical usage.
first study, published in Neuroscience,
tested hydralazine’s effectiveness before MS symptoms developed. He plans to
follow up with studies to identify optimal treatment timing and dosage.
currently are testing to see if hydralazine can reduce symptoms if treatment
starts after they begin,” he said. “If the drug continues to prove
effective, we have good reason to think it might be useful in human MS
already has applied for a provisional patent on his research through the Purdue
Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). The OTC
also has provided Shi with support through the Trask Innovation Fund, which
assists Purdue faculty with work to further commercial potential of
technologies disclosed to the Office of Technology Commercialization. The fund
does not support basic research but instead provides funds to reduce inventions
to practice, provide critical additional data, or develop prototypes, which
make the technology more marketable.
goal is to move hydralazine therapy for MS symptoms to patients, with the OTC
looking for a commercialization partner.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery