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Archive for Monday, September 1, 1997

SCIENTISTS TO STUDY WEAKENED DRUGS

September 1, 1997

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Scientists at Kansas University have received a $190,000 grant to study the effect of an amino acid that can cause pharmaceuticals to lose their effectiveness.

The National Institutes of Health has funded the study into an amino acid called asparagine, which can adversely affect drugs when they are packaged in plastic-like materials called polymers. The reactions can even make the original drug toxic.

The polymers used for packaging are intended to slow the decay of drugs on the shelf, as well as the release of drugs in the body.

One example is CD4, a protein being considered for use as an agent to ward off the onset of AIDS. Richard Schowen, KU professor of chemistry and the study's principal investigator, said the asparagine reaction makes CD4 ineffective in fighting HIV.

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