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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round-up of the R&D news in brief

H5N1 provokes cytokine response, say researchers
Researchers have suggested that the reason why the H5N1 strain of avian flu is so deadly to humans is that it may trigger intense cytokine responses. Writing in the journal Nature Medicine a team of scientists from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, said they examined 18 people with the H5N1 virus and 8 who had seasonal flu. In addition to higher virus levels in the throat, patients with the H5N1 virus had higher levels of cytokines than those with normal flu. The researchers noted that patients with H5N1 who died had the highest levels of cytokines. ìOur observations suggest that H5N1 virus replicates to very high levels - higher than common human influenza - in the respiratory system, and that these high levels of virus ignite an overwhelming intense inflammatory response,î noted lead researcher, Dr Menno de Jong.

Dapoxetine results
Results from a study published in The Lancet suggest that men suffering from moderate-to-severe premature ejaculation who received Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) experimental compound dapoxetine, experienced a three- to four-fold increase in the average duration of sexual intercourse. In two studies involving a total of more than 2,600 men with moderate-to-severe premature ejaculation, patients were randomised to receive a 30-milligram dose of dapoxetine, a 60-milligram dose, or placebo. After 12 weeks, the findings showed that men who took the lower dose of the drug one to three hours before sexual activity averaged 2.78 minutes before ejaculation, while men who took the higher dose averaged 3.32 minutes, and those who took placebo averaged 1.75 minutes before ejaculation. The researchers added that some patients experienced side effects such as nausea, headache and dizziness. In 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration rejected J&J's application to market dapoxetine for male sexual dysfunction. The firm said it would address the questions the agency raised and continue to develop the drug.

30th September 2008

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