University of British Columbia and Amgen British Columbia (ABC) will collaborate to develop a safe and efficient lipid-based vaccine delivery system that can be used in laboratory animals to enhance the production of specific antibodies against difficult targets. These antibodies can be further screened and characterized for treating various diseases in humans.
Neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety, represent prevalent and disabling medical conditions affecting society. Despite the urgent need for novel pharmacotherapeutics to treat these conditions, there are few new drugs in development by the pharmaceutical industry. Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years to self-medicate a range of different neuropsychiatric symptoms, although few studies have addressed this issue in a scientific manner.
Iron-overload disorders, such as hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) and beta-thalassemia, develops when the body absorbs excessive iron over years. They are quite common with a prevalence of 1/200 in population of northern-European ancestry and 1/500 worldwide respectively. Without treatment, iron-overload can lead to diabetes, heart disease or cirrhosis. Main treatment for HH is phlebotomy and patients need frequent visits in clinic.
Chronic inflammation is the common denominator for various diseases, including atherosclerosis, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), obesity, type-2 diabetes, liver diseases and even cancers. In most cases, this inflammation is the result of massive pro-inflammatory macrophage infiltration in tissues, due to their aberrant signalling and dysfunction, in presence of fat accumulation. The CD36 scavenger receptor has been shown to be key player in inflammation, with its TLR2 co-receptor.
NATURE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
Patients who suffer from addiction to opioids often experience depression. Furthermore, data concerning the use of effective medication to treat depression in patients addicted to opioids is insufficient. Desvenlafaxine is an antidepressant that has been approved in Canada to treat depression within the general population.
A new film coating that can respond appropriately to different pH conditions of the stomach and small intestine (GI tract) was successfully prepared by combining pH-responsive nanoparticles with ethylcellulose polymer. However, the performance of the composite membrane has not been optimized for controlling drug release in the GI tract. Therefore, improvements are to be made through experimental design, such as central composite design, to find the appropriate composition of the nanoparticles to achieve the best overall combination of coating properties.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer with very poor prognosis, especially for patients older than 60 years of age. This is in part because of the severe toxicity of medicines available. Less harmful medicines are needed to better treat older patients. Therapure Biopharma Inc. has chemically linked the standard toxic chemotherapy medicine called cytarabine to the blood protein hemoglobin to make a potentially safer and more effective medicine to treat AML. In collaboration with the University Of Waterloo School Of Pharmacy, Therapure Biopharma Inc.
Current treatments for pain and inflammation have substantial side effects which limit their use and thus clinical effectiveness. Panag, is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be applied topically to alleviate both pain and inflammation. These compounds are synthetic derivatives of plant-based molecules from the Cannabis sativa plant which have proven to be advantageous in treating pain and inflammation in animal models.
Drug use in older persons is a major public health concern. Even though therapeutic drugs are beneficial for patients’ health in terms of survival or quality of life, patients aged >65 years have a greater risk of developing drug-related complications.
Obesity and diabetes are a significant global burden and there is an immediate need for novel treatments and management strategies. Our lab has shown that an avocadoderived lipid is a potent inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation (i.e., the cellular breakdown of fat for energy) which reduces mouse weight gain without toxicity. Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation for the management and treatment of obesity and diabetes is an established therapeutic strategy. The objectives of this project are two-fold.