Parkinson’s medications may help treat extreme drug-resistant TB

July 3rd, 2009 - 1:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, July 3 (ANI): Two drugs that are commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease have been found to be effective in treating extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

They have discovered that the two commercially available drugs, entacapone and tolcapone, have the potential to treat multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis.

“We have computational, and experimental data to support this repositioning,” said Dr Philip E. Bourne, professor of pharmacology at UCSD’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the principle investigator on the project.

“What is exciting about this finding is that the TB target, enzyme InhA, is already well known. But existing drugs are highly toxic and of completely different chemical structure than entacapone and tolcapone.

“Here we have drugs that are known to be safe and with suitable binding properties which can be further optimized to treat a completely different condition,” he added.

While working with the TB bacterium itself, they found that the active component in Comtan tablets (entacapone) is effective at inhibiting M.tuberculosis in concentrations well below a level that is toxic to cells.

“Although we have demonstrated in the lab that Comtan is active against M.tuberculosis, additional studies are required in order to transform it into an anti-tubercular therapeutic,” said Sarah L. Kinnings, a graduate student and lead author on the study.

“Given the continuing emergence of M.tuberculosis strains that are resistant to all existing, affordable drug treatments, the development of novel, effective and inexpensive drugs is an urgent priority,” she added.

The study appears in PLoS Computional Biology. (ANI)

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