An Ayurvedic poly-herbal formulation, NEERI-KFT, has the potential to not only slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease but also restore normalcy in functional parameters of the vital organ, a team of researchers has claimed.
In a review published in the latest edition of Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, they said "phytopharmacological evaluation of NEERI-KFT suggests that it exhibits substantial potential against oxidative and inflammatory stress induced apoptosis by exerting antioxidant, nephroprotective and immunomodulatory effects...in the patients associated with renal dysfunction or chronic kidney disease (CKD)".
The NEERI-KFT, a herbal medicine extracted from plants, has been found to correct oxidative as well as inflammatory stress known for reducing body's immunity, said the authors after drawing data on the formulation for kidney ailments from more than five electronic databases such as Science Direct, Google Scholar, Elsevier, PubMed, Springer, ACS publication from published database between 2000 and 2020.
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The study, 'A systematic review on nephroprotective AYUSH drugs as constituents of NEERI-KFT' not only examined the impact of the herbal extract of NEERI-KFT prepared by the AIMIL Pharma interventions on patients, but also dwelled in detail the adverse events of the modern medicine used for the management of the kidney ailments.
The study also highlighted the herbal drug's efficacy in reducing "serum creatinine, blood urea, and serum uric acid as compared to placebo group" and described "its well-tolerated effect with no adverse hematological or biochemical abnormalities occurred to any subjects during clinical trial".
"It can be suggested that NEERI-KFT can be an alternative and complementary therapy at end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or complete loss of kidney function where frequent dialysis of renal transplant remains only a single option for continued survival CKD patients," researchers said.
K.K. Sharma, AIMIL Pharma Managing Director, attributed this to the "more than 20 different potent herbs like haridra, varuna, shirish, gokhru, punarnava and anantamul to name a few in the formulation which are known for their nephro corrective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and reparative regeneration of kidney cells.
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It was after a string of stringent tests that this formulation has been developed to provide relief to kidney patients, he said.
K.N. Dwivedi from Banaras Hindu University said the herbal ingredients in NEERI-KFT are loaded with many anti-oxidants besides medicinal values which not only strengthen kidney but liver also.
"This is a very unique drug and we have found it very effective in our study also," he added.
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New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar has launched an online portal TAPAS (Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services), developed by the National Institute of Social Defence under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.Ministers of State Ramdas Athawale and Sushri Pratima Bhoumik also joined the event on Saturday.TAPAS is the initiative of National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, to provide access to lectures by subject experts, study material and more, but in a manner that it supplements the physical classroom without compromising on the quality of teaching. The main objective of introducing the course modules is to impart training and enhance the knowledge and skills for the capacity building of the participants. It can be taken up by anyone who wishes to enhance his or her knowledge on the topics and there is no fee for joining. The five basic courses are on Drug (Substance) Abuse Prevention, Geriatric/Elderly Care, Care and Management of Dementia, Transgender Issues and on comprehensive course on Social Defence Issues.Dr. Kumar said that the online medium of learning will enable the Ministry in reaching out to an even larger number of people working in this area of social defence. He urged everyone to enroll for the course for a better understanding of issues such as substance abuse prevention, elderly care, transgender welfare and beggary prevention. "Everyone working in the field of social defence is encouraged to enroll for the course. It is an online course and one can utilise this facility to its full potential," Dr. Kumar said."In our education system, where the offline mode of teaching is so deeply entrenched, this course will lead the path of change and open up new possibilities. There is no dearth of respect and regard for our age-old guru-shishya parampara, but there's no reason why it can't be transited to the online medium. Hence, let us embark on this new journey and increase our horizon when it comes to learning and gaining knowledge," he further added.The idea of TAPAS was conceptualised at a time when exploring the online medium for work and education had become imperative due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.--IANSavr/pgh
Hyderabad, Aug 13 (IANS) Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL), a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board and a leading vaccine manufacturer, on Friday handed over the first batch of Covaxin drug substance to Bharat Biotech.The IIL said it has produced the drug substance in record time. IIL Managing Director, Dr K. Anand Kumar, handed over the first lot of Covaxin drug substance to BBIL Chairman and Managing Director, Dr Krishna Ella."It is a proud moment for IIL to have played a vital role in supporting our nation's interest during this unprecedented time. This would have not been possible without the constant support provided by Niti-Aayog, BIRAC, DBT, Mission Covid Suraksha Team, Central and State drug control authorities," Anand Kumar said."The government has worked relentlessly to provide all possible support for ramping up Covaxin production in the country and speed up the Covaxin inoculation drive. The loan license agreement by the CDSCO for Indian Immunologicals Ltd to produce Covaxin drug substance is a major milestone, achieved in a very short span of time. The DBT-BIRAC support under Mission Covid Suraksha aims to meet the Covid-19 vaccine requirement of our country. I congratulate the team for the efforts put in for this achievement," Secretary, Biotechnology, and BIRAC Chairperson, Dr Renu Swarup, said.In order to augment the Covid-19 vaccine production capacity in the country, the Central government in April requested that the IIL and Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) join hands.The IIL, in a short period of time, has performed several activities including signing of 4 agreements with BBIL, repurposing its manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, procurement of key raw materials and consumables, procurement of key equipment for the process, technology transfer, trials at R&D scale, training etc. These activities were all done at breakneck speed and production at commenced in 2021.The batches so produced at IIL's manufacturing facility have been tested both at the BBIL and the IIL and meets the quality specifications for the drug substance. The yields are more than expected, the IIL said in a statement.Dr Anand Kumar also said that IIL is also working on another Covid-19 vaccine and the animal trials are underway currently. It is expected to come out by next year for human vaccination.Under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission Covid Suraksha was announced by the Centre to accelerate the development and production of indigenous Covid vaccines. This is being implemented by the Department of Biotechnology.The IIL, Hyderabad, has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 60 crore towards enhancing production capabilities--IANSms/vd
New York, Aug 7 (IANS) In a bid to help doctors treat pancreatic cancer in a better way, a team of MIT researchers has developed an immunotherapy strategy.The study, published in the journalACancer Cell, indicates that the immunotherapy strategy has shown that it can eliminate pancreatic tumors in mice.The new therapy, which is a combination of three drugs that help boost the body's immune defences against tumors, is likely to enter clinical trials later this year."We don't have a lot of good options for treating pancreatic cancer. It's a devastating disease clinically," said researcher William Freed-Pastor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.According to the researchers, pancreatic cancer, which affects about 60,000 Americans every year, is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. After diagnosis, fewer than 10 percent of patients survive for five years.The researchers said that the body's immune system contains T cells that can recognise and destroy cells that express cancerous proteins, but most tumors create a highly immunosuppressive environment that disables these T cells, helping the tumour to survive.Immune checkpoint therapy -- the most common form of immunotherapy currently being used clinically -- works by removing the brakes on these T cells, rejuvenating them so they can destroy tumours.One class of immunotherapy drug that has shown success in treating many types of cancer targets the interactions between PD-L1, a cancer-linked protein that turns off T cells, and PD-1, the T cell protein that PD-L1 binds to.Drugs that block PD-L1 or PD-1, also called checkpoint inhibitors, have been approved to treat cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer, but they have very little effect on pancreatic tumours.Alongside the clinical trial, the MIT team plans to analyse which types of pancreatic tumours might respond best to this drug combination.--IANSvc/in
London, Aug 6 (IANS) A team of scientists have identified an experimental drug that may help prevent Covid-related heart damage.Scientists at the University of Cambridge grew heart cells in the lab using human embryonic stem cells, to understand how the virus infects the heart cells. Crucially, these model heart cells also contained the key components necessary for SARS-CoV-2 infection -- in particular, the ACE2 receptor.Using the model, they identified an experimental peptide drug called DX600 which can prevent the virus from entering the heart cells. The findings are published in the journal Communications Biology."Using stem cells, we've managed to create a model which, in many ways, behaves just like a heart does, beating in rhythm. This has allowed us to look at how the coronavirus infects cells and, importantly, helps us screen possible drugs that might prevent damage to the heart," said Dr Sanjay Sinha from the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.The team showed that some drugs that targeted the proteins involved in SARS-CoV-2 viral entry significantly reduced levels of infection. These included DX600 -- an ACE2 peptide antagonist which is a molecule that specifically targets ACE2 and inhibits the activity of peptides that play a role in allowing the virus to break into the cell.DX600 was around seven times more effective at preventing infection compared to the antibody, though the researchers say this may be because it was used in higher concentrations. The drug did not affect the number of heart cells, implying that it would be unlikely to be toxic."The spike protein is like a key that fits into the 'lock' on the surface of the cells -- the ACE2 receptor -- allowing it entry. DX600 acts like gum, jamming the lock's mechanism, making it much more difficult for the key to turn and unlock the cell door," said Professor Anthony Davenport from the Department of Medicine and a fellow at St Catharine's College, Cambridge.He added that further research is needed on this drug, "but it could provide us with a new treatment to help reduce harm to the heart in patients recently infected with the virus, particularly those who already have underlying heart conditions or who have not been vaccinated." It may also "help reduce the symptoms of long Covid".--IANSrvt/vd
New York, July 31 (IANS) A team of researchers has leveraged two new molecules, one of which is currently in clinical oncology trials, to devise a dual-drug therapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD), without the side-effects or complications associated with current treatment regimens.The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, indicates that the approach had highly successful results in mice and may apply to other drugs that are often abused."Alcohol use disorder is really a process of maladapted learning and memory," said researcher Dorit Ron from the University of California, San Francisco."Alcohol is rewarding, and we learn to associate alcohol, and even the environment in which we drink the alcohol, with that reward," Ron added.At the root of the team's thinking is the idea that AUD and other substance abuse disorders are the results of reinforced pathways in the brain, and that those pathways can be blocked or redirected, ending cravings and habitual behaviour.The researcher said she is studying the role of the enzyme mTORC1 in the creation of those memories and associations, to create an effective drug that can treat the neurological causes of AUD.Ordinarily, mTORC1 is involved in brain plasticity, helping to create connections between neurons that reinforce memory. In previous work, Ron showed that consuming alcohol activates the enzyme in the brain.Ron has also shown that blocking the activity of mTORC1 with the FDA-approved compound rapamycin, used to treat some types of cancer and suppress the immune response in transplant patients, can halt cravings in mice engineered for alcohol use disorder.But mTORC1 contributes to a bevy of other bodily tasks related to metabolism and liver function, and people taking it for an extended period often develop liver toxicity, glucose intolerance, and other side effects.Ron believes that tackling addiction from a neurological perspective has potential for broad applications."We could see these side effects in mice who are taking rapamycin or RapaLink-1, and then when you give Rapablock, it's like magic, the side effects are gone," Ron noted.--IANSvc/arm