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Panjab Univ scientists achieve breakthrough in Psoriasis treatment

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, May 3: The dream of the dermatologists to surmount the serious reactive effects in patients associated with a very popular anti-psoriatic drug, Dithranol, has now become a reality at University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) of Panjab University.

A team of scientists and researchers led by Prof O P Katare, currently the Chairman of the Institute, has reached a landmark success in the discovery of a novel drug delivery product.The product is a liposomal formulation of dithranol which has been undergoing various phases of formulation research at the Institute for the last seven years.

The clinical studies carried out at the Department of Dermatology, Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh under the leadership of Prof Bhushan Kumar, revealed a phenomenal decrease in the tendency of the drug to cause severe skin irritation, and staining on skin and clothes both.

Psoriasis is a dreadful skin disorder afflicting over 125 million people across the globe. This inflammatory disorder characterized by severe itching, scaling and burning of skin, is soaring in around 3-5 per cent of Indian populace.

Talking about the discovery Prof Katare told mediapersons here yesterday that till date despite the success of dithranol in treating psoriatic disorder, the patients were hardly willing to comply with its treatment owing to their fear of drug's adverse effects. This significant discovery would pave the way for not only improving the therapeutic potential and aesthetic appeal of the drug, but also in reducing its dose to about 40 percent, he added.

Looking at the tremendous commercial promise of this drug product which has been named Psorisometm, Lifecare Innovations Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon (LIPL) has come forward to own the product for large scale production and marketing. The company has to its credit the first injectable liposomal product of the country,that is fungisomtem.

The patent applications for Psorisometm have already been filed, Prof Katare said. The discovery has also been duly cited in very prestigious treatise, ''Rook's Textbook of Dermatology'', a standard book for medical students and researchers.

An agreement for owning, producing and marketing Psorisometm was signed between Panjab University represented by Prof S S Bari, the Registrar and Lifecare Innovations Pvt Ltd represented by Dr J N Verma, its Managing Director. Vice Chancellor Prof K N Pathak, handed over the documents of technology transfer to Dr Verma.

''This product has been churned out of a synergistic three-tier tie of pharma-academia, clinical research, and industry and there are many more to come out from the pipeline'', Prof Katare said.

This technological breakthrough would be given national credence when Psorisometm would be launched on the Technology Day, that is May 11 in New Delhi by Union Minister of Science and Technology of Kapil Sibal.

UNI

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