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Design, synthesis and in vitro degradation of a novel co-drug for the treatment of psoriasis

Lau, W. M., Heard, C. M. and White, A. W. (2013) Design, synthesis and in vitro degradation of a novel co-drug for the treatment of psoriasis. Pharmaceutics, 5 (2). pp. 232-245. ISSN 1999-4923

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics5020232


Psoriasis is a common, chronic and relapsing inflammatory skin disease. It affects approximately 2% of the western population and has no cure. Combination therapy for psoriasis often proves more efficacious and better tolerated than monotherapy with a single drug. Combination therapy could be administered in the form of a co-drug, where two or more therapeutic compounds active against the same condition are linked by a cleavable covalent bond. Similar to the pro-drug approach, the liberation of parent moieties post-administration, by enzymatic and/or chemical mechanisms, is a pre-requisite for effective treatment. In this study, a series of co-drugs incorporating dithranol in combination with one of several non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, both useful for the treatment of psoriasis, were designed, synthesized and evaluated. An ester co-drug comprising dithranol and naproxen in a 1:1 stoichiometric ratio was determined to possess the optimal physicochemical properties for topical delivery. The co-drug was fully hydrolyzed in vitro by porcine liver esterase within four hours. When incubated with homogenized porcine skin, 9.5% of the parent compounds were liberated after 24 h, suggesting in situ esterase-mediated cleavage of the co-drug would occur within the skin. The kinetics of the reaction revealed first order kinetics, Vmax = 10.3 μM/min and Km = 65.1 μM. The co-drug contains a modified dithranol chromophore that was just 37% of the absorbance of dithranol at 375 nm and suggests reduced skin/clothes staining. Overall, these findings suggest that the dithranol-naproxen co-drug offers an attractive, novel approach for the treatment of psoriasis.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutics Research Group
ID Code:32201
Publisher Statement:Open Access publication


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