I came across a very interesting PDF file when checking my site stats today. Seems someone came to my site from a search for FTY720 at Novartis' site. Of course I got all side tracked seeing what the other search results were and I found this really interesting, informative and engrossing article.
Full Article in PDF format
(you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read it)
Some highlights I found interesting were
- A compound that may lead to a safer class of immune system drugs can trace its roots to a parasitic fungus (Isaria sinclairii) that preys on insects and eventually grows out of their dead carcasses. And while the practitioners of ancient oriental medicine may not have understood the fungus’ complex life cycle when they named it ‘insect in winter, plant in summer,’ they did understand the powerful health effects bestowed by a broth made from the fungus. Modern molecular medicine studies have shown that the traditional remedy practiced for thousands of years contains several chemicals that potently modify the body’s immune response.
- FTY720 was first made by a Japanese company, Yoshitomi Pharmaceutical Industries (now Mitsubishi Pharma)2, while they were looking for new cancer drugs. FTY720 instead of anti-tumor activity, showed immune activity. That, along with its somewhat unusual chemical structure, stirred the interest of researchers at Sandoz—the company that merged with Ciba-Geigy to form Novartis in 1996.
For anyone interested in Fingolimod and the science behind it, it's worth the read.
Personally, I still say I'm glad it's in pill form and I don't have to gag one of those down...especially now that I know the fungus preys on insects and springs from their carcasses.
Excuse me while I go gargle.