Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation (v.10, #2)

Meet Our Editorial Board Member by John D. Smart (81-81).

Background: Visual impairment broadly impacts the ability of affected people to maintain their function and to remain independent during their daily occupations as they grow older. Visual impairment affects survival of older patients, quality of life, can affect a person's self-ranking of health, may be associated with social and functional decline, use of community support services, depression, falls, nursing home placement, and increased mortality. It has been hypothesized that senile cataract may serve as a marker for generalised tissue aging, since structural changes occurring in the proteins of the lens during cataract formation are similar to those which occur elsewhere as part of the aging process. The published analysis revealed a strong age-dependent relationship between undergoing cataract surgery and subsequent mortality.
Methods: Nuclear opacity, particularly severe nuclear opacity, and mixed opacities with nuclear were significant predictors of mortality independent of body mass index, comorbid conditions, smoking, age, race, and sex. The lens opacity status is considered as an independent predictor of 2-year mortality, an association that could not be explained by potential confounders. Telomeres have become important biomarkers for aging as well as for oxidative stress-related disease. The lens epithelium is especially vulnerable to oxidative stress. Oxidative damage to the cuboidal epithelial cells on the anterior surface of the lens mediated by reactive oxygen species and phospholipid hydroperoxides can precede and contribute to human lens cataract formation. The erosion and shortening of telomeres in human lens epithelial cells in the lack of telomerase activity has been recognized as a primary cause of premature lens senescence phenotype that trigger human cataractogenesis. In this study we aimed to be focused on research defining the mechanisms that underlie linkages among telomere attrition in human lens epithelial cells associated with oxidative stress, biology of the lens response to oxidative damages, aging and health, cataract versus neuroendocrine regulation and disease. The cumulative results demonstrate that carnosine, released ophthalmically from the patented 1% Nacetylcarnosine prodrug lubricant eye drops, at physiological concentration might remarkably reduce the rate of telomere shortening in the lens cells subjected to oxidative stress in the lack of efficient antioxidant lens protection. Carnosine promotes the protection of normal cells from acquiring phenotypic characteristics of cellular senescence. The data of visual functions (visual acuity, glare sensitivity) in older adult subjects and older subjects with cataract treated with 1% N-acetylcarnosine lubricant eye drops showed significant improvement as compared, by contrast with the control group which showed generally no improvement in visual functions, with no difference from baseline in visual acuity and glare sensitivity readings.
Results: N-acetylcarnosine derived from the lubricant eye drops may be transported into the hypothalamic tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) histamine neurons and gradually hydrolyzed. The resulting L-histidine may subsequently be converted into histamine, which could be responsible for the effects of carnosine on neurotransmission and hormone-like antiaging and anti-cataract physiological function.
Conclusion: The research utilizing the N-acetylcarnosine lubricant eye drops powerful therapeutic platform provides the findings related to the intraocular uptake exposure sources as well as a timing dosage and duration systemic absorption of said preparation from the conjunctional sac reaching the hypothalamus with activities transfer into the hypothalamic-neuroendocrine pathways affecting across the hypothalamus metabolic pathway the telomere biology and cataract disease occurrence, reversal and prevention and the average expected lifespan of an individual. Such findings can be translated into clinical practice and may provide a basis for personalized cataract disease and aging prevention and treatment approaches.

The Use of Propolis in Micro/Nanostructured Pharmaceutical Formulations by Marcos L. Bruschi, Raphaela R. de A. Pereira, Lizziane M.B. de Francisco (130-140).
Background: Propolis is a resinous material with complex chemical structure, produced by bees using plant sources, displaying a wide spectrum of biological activities.
Methods: Many studies have reported the use of this compound in pharmaceutical, medicinal, veterinary and dentistry areas, and the results have reported its pharmacological activities.
Results: Moreover, many propolis delivery systems have been proposed and evaluated, indicating that they can be used. On the other hand, considering its chemical and physical characteristics, propolis could be used as a material to produce micro/nano-structured pharmaceutical formulations.
Conclusion: This work reviews the recent studies of development of micro/nanostructured systems using propolis or its byproduct. In addition, patents were reviewed and categorized.

Approaches and Recent Trends in Gene Delivery for Treatment of Atherosclerosis by Rohan Lalani, Ambikanandan Misra, Jitendra Amrutiya, Hinal Patel, Priyanka Bhatt, Sushil K. Patil (141-155).
Background: The development and progression of atherosclerosis is known to occur at a sluggish pace and the lesions remain concealed for a long duration before the factual situation of the complex atherosclerotic etiology affecting various organ gets apprehended. The root cause mainly involves an imbalance or malfunction of the cholesterol metabolizing pathway. The till date therapeutic alternatives include oral hypo-lipidemic agents along with advances made in biotechnology/tissue engineering and surgical procedures for management purpose. However, with the advent and upsurge of nanotech delivery systems, along with meticulous indulgence and identification of the causative genes in the etiology of disease have opened a new therapeutic area that has far reaching application potential for effective management of such chronic disease requiring lifelong therapy.
Methods: Various genes that have implication in atherosclerosis were reviewed along with research in delivery vectors that have been employed for gene therapeutics and hurdles in successful delivery were elaborated. Relevant patents are discussed systematically to clearly support and highlight the developments made.
Results: Patenting activity in the delivery of genes for atherosclerosis so far primarily covers use of viral vectors. With the identification of new targets, a list of candidate genes are available that can be potentially exploited for therapeutic purpose. Though the delivery of candidate genes using viral vectors has been well explored, the limitation of viral vectors have seized the much needed clinical success. Non-viral vectors can prove to be the key for conquering this limitations and offer a vast area for exploration for achieving an effective control and remission to the disease and increasing the assortment of patents as reviewed in this article.
Conclusion: In view of the many limitations in employing viral vectors for delivery, designing non-viral vectors for successful delivery of therapeutic gene in atherosclerosis should be realized and focused for effective management of the disease.

Nanosized Drug Delivery Systems for Direct Nose to Brain Targeting: A Review by Kunjan Phukan, Marika Nandy, Rupanjali B. Sharma, Hemanta K. Sharma (156-164).
Background: Drug targeting to brain has always been problematic due to Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), which, does not allow most of the drugs to pass through it as they are hydrophilic and macromolecular drugs. So, in order to bypass the BBB, alternative modes of administration were searched and nasal to brain delivery route was tried by many workers. Such studies yielded patented nano-formulations with the ability to cross blood brain barrier.
Methods: Nanoparticles being smaller in size and large surface area help in increasing the rate of drug permeation to the brain. In this review work, emphasis has been laid on discussion on various works done in the field of nasal delivery of drugs to brain over the last decade.
Results: The works that are discussed in this paper show better drug targeting of brain when given through nasal route as nanoparticles. Experiments performed in animal models have clearly exhibited that nano-sized formulations are able to facilitate the delivery of drugs to brain through nose in comparison to tantamount drug solutions.
Conclusion: However, it is not yet confirmed whether the drug is freed from the formulation in the nasal cavity and then absorbed or the nanoparticles themselves are absorbed and then the drug is released in the CNS. Furthermore, the toxicity studies were not carried out extensively in suitably designed model, which should be considered before going for further studies and application.

Background: The present study is aimed at bringing out the information on the effect of berberine chloride in hyper and hypo thyroidal model with two dose levels.
Objective: The research article also reviewed details of various existing patents associated with comprehensive compilation regarding the therapeutic application of berberine and related forms.
Method: Sixty female wistar rats weighing between 150-250 gm were divided in to 10 groups. The animals were grouped in to solvent control; hypothyroid; hyperthyroid; prophylactic with two different doses of berberine chloride (50 and 100 mg/kg); treatment groups similar to that of the prophylactic and therapeutic group. To substantiate the dose dependent effect of berberine chloride in 6-n-propyL-2-thiouracil (PTU) induced hypothyroidism, lipid profile, thyroid profile, enzymes profiles and blood profiles, in addition to histopathological studies were also carried out. There was no any significant difference in the lipid profile among solvent control, treatment and prophylactic groups. However, there was a significant difference (***p<0.001) in serum triglycerides, LDL and VLDL of hypothyroid group when compound to that of the rest.
Results: As far as thyroid profile is concerned, T3 level of berberine chloride (50 mg/kg) treated groups (prophylactic+ treatment) showed a significant rise compared to hypothyroid group. TSH level in prophylactic groups was far higher than the rest of the groups (3.002±0.0192, 1.051±0.0008 against the solvent control, 0.308±0.008). SGOT, SGPT levels were significantly higher with the therapeutic group than that of the normal and hypo-thyroidal group. Blood profile of berberine chloride (100 mg/kg) treated therapeutic group was comparable to that of the solvent control than all other groups. The probable mechanism underlying may be that inactivation of type I 5-iodothyronine deiodinase (5DI) enzyme by NF-κB pathway.
Conclusion: From the findings of the current study it can be concluded that berberine chloride possesses both thyroid stimulating and suppressing activities depending on its dose, especially berberine chloride 50 mg/kg supports thyroid stimulating property.

Patent Selections: (174-174).