Sabinsa Corporation announces the development of a new drug to fight African sleeping sickness. A patent application is in the process of being submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Sabinsa collaborated with its Indian associate, Sami Labs Ltd. in the process development of this project, said Dr. N. Kalyanam, President of the SAMI/SABINSA R & D group.
African sleeping sickness (Trypanosomiasis) is a parasitic infection that spreads through the bite of the tsetse fly. Initial symptoms include low-grade fever, painful joints and skin irritation. The parasites carrying the disease soon cross the blood-brain barrier, inducing hallucinations, behavioral changes and severe pain, with the victim lapsing into a coma. If left untreated, the disease is 100% fatal.
Trypanosomiasis was eradicated in the 1960’s. However, there has been a recent resurgence in epidemic proportions. Epidemiologists estimate that about 450,000 people in central Africa are infected. This parasitic disease has spread three times faster than the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, that causes AIDS. Only an estimated 7% of the 60 million people believed to be at risk of infection in Africa, have access to health care.
Very few drugs are currently available to treat African sleeping sickness. These have significant disadvantages, including severe toxic and often fatal side effects. Additionally, most of these drugs have to be administered by injection, posing practical difficulties in areas with poor health care facilities and hygiene. Scientific evidence also suggests that the parasite causing the disease is becoming progressively resistant to melarsoprol, the most commonly used medication. Treatment of the disease has not changed much in the last 50 years, with very little research being directed toward the human form of African sleeping sickness. The research project at SABINSA/SAMI is therefore dedicated to serving an immediate need for developing effective, safe and economical drugs to combat this resurgent scourge.
Sabinsa Corporation is an application-oriented manufacturing and marketing company which manufacturers and supplies Phytonutrients, Ayurvedic herbal extracts and specialty fine chemicals used for nutritional, pharmaceutical and food products. Sabinsa distinguishes itself by its extensive research support for its customers and products, and the scientific credentials of its key technical staff.
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