JUN 20, 2018 6:23 AM PDT

New Drug 'Moxidectin' for River Blindness

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A new treatment to help eliminate a neglected tropical disease was developed thanks in part to an incentive program devised by researchers at Duke University.

Moxidectin, a macrocyclic lactone created by the drug company Medicines Development for Global Health, was recently approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Moxidectin seeks to treat helminthic infections that affect more than 15 million people worldwide. The firm will be awarded a voucher for priority review of another drug, under a system first proposed by David Ridley, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Henry Grabowski of the Duke Department of Economics, and Jeffrey Moe, of the Duke Global Health Institute.

“With a new treatment, we’re one step closer to eliminating river blindness,” Ridley said. “And the developer is a non-profit company,” explains David Ridley, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

River blindness, or onchocerciasis, is typically found in economically-distressed areas in sub-Saharan Africa. The clinical trials published in The Lancet medical journal found that moxidectin to be more effective in treating river disease than any current treatment.

Moxidectin is a anthelmintic medicine that targets the parasite's glutamate-gated chloride ion channels. These ion channels are crucial to the function of invertebrate nerve and muscle cells. Moxidectin has activity against O. volvulus microfilariae, the parasite involved in river blindness disease, but does not have an effect on adult O. volvulus parasites.

 

Individuals with river blindness administered moxidectin had adverse events consistent with those associated with efficacy. The nature and severity of these effects from moxidectin recipients were similar to another drug known as ivermectin.

 

Eosinophilia, pruritus, musculoskeletal pain, headache, lymphopenia, tachycardia, rash, abdominal pain, hypotension, pyrexia, leukocytosis, influenza-like illness, neutropenia, cough, lymph node pain, dizziness, diarrhea, hyponatremia and peripheral swelling; were are all considered to be the most common adverse reactions.

 

However, the efficacy of repeat administrations of moxidectin have yet to be examined. Moxidectin is given as 2 mg tablets for administration as an 8 mg dose per oral to patients at least 12 years of age with O. volvulus infection.

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
MAY 06, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Scientists discover new methods of production for Sulphur-based medications
MAY 06, 2022
Scientists discover new methods of production for Sulphur-based medications
Modern medicine has drastically changed since humans discovered the first ancient treatment methods. Herbal remedies and ...
JUN 06, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Express Media Service Q&A with Sheng Li, PhD., FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific
JUN 06, 2022
Express Media Service Q&A with Sheng Li, PhD., FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific sat down with Sheng Li, PhD, Program Manager, to speak about our rapid service for small-scal ...
JUN 04, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibiotics Reduce Motivation to Exercise in Mice
JUN 04, 2022
Antibiotics Reduce Motivation to Exercise in Mice
Antibiotics may decrease athletes' motivation and endurance via effects on the microbiome. The corresponding study w ...
JUN 09, 2022
Plants & Animals
Traditional Indian Medicine Helps Treat and Manage Type 2 Diabetes
JUN 09, 2022
Traditional Indian Medicine Helps Treat and Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Medicine has been practiced for millennia. Despite the dominance of Western medicine, many traditional approaches to tre ...
JUN 09, 2022
Cardiology
Supplements and Heart Health
JUN 09, 2022
Supplements and Heart Health
There is little evidence that supplements actually improve heart health.
JUN 15, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
High Intensity Ultrasound Therapy Treats Localized Prostate Cancer
JUN 15, 2022
High Intensity Ultrasound Therapy Treats Localized Prostate Cancer
High-intensity-focused ultrasound (HIFU) can treat some men with prostate cancer instead of surgery or radiation therapy ...
Loading Comments...