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UC Davis bench-to-bedside research: Promising treatment in clinical trials
Date:3/26/2009

DAVIS, CALIF.A new drug developed at the University of California, Davis to treat diabetes, hypertension and inflammatory has entered Phase II of human clinical trials to evaluate its efficacy.

The compound, a soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme (s-EH) inhibitor, is "a first-in-class drug which may treat a suite of major cardiovascular and metabolic diseases," said entomologist Bruce Hammock, who with UC Berkeley cell biologist Sarjeet Gill discovered the enzyme in 1969 while researching fundamental insect biology.

"This is one of the few examples of basic research in an academic laboratory moving through target validation and compound optimization all the way to the clinic," he said.

The enzyme is involved in the metabolism of arachidonic acid, a key signaling molecule implicated in diabetes, hypertension and inflammatory disorders. "It's an enzyme in the same arachidonic biochemical pathway where many other common pharmaceuticals such as aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin and other are active," he said.

Phase 1 evaluated the safety, safe dosage range and side effects of the drug candidate. It then entered Phase IIa.

UC Davis physicians and scientists praised the new drug as promising. Nephrologist and cell biologist Robert Weiss of the UC Davis Health System said the drug could lead to important health implications for patients with type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease affecting an estimated 23.6 million children and adults in the United States.

"Both diabetes and hypertension are often associated with vascular inflammation as is atherosclerosis," Weiss said. "Last year we demonstrated that these compounds dramatically reduce atherosclerosis problem in obese mice."

"These compounds appear useful in a variety of cardiovascular disorders," said biochemist and food scientist Bruce German, UC Davis professor of food science and technology.

"Diabetes and high blood pressure commonly
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Contact: Kathy Keatley Garvey
kegarvey@ucdavis.edu
530-754-6894
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

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