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Sci. Pharm., Volume 90, Issue 2 (June 2022) – 17 articles

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Article
In Vitro and In Silico Antistaphylococcal Activity of Indole Alkaloids Isolated from Tabernaemontana cymosa Jacq (Apocynaceae)
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020038 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 492
Abstract
The species of the genus Tabernaemontana have a long tradition of use in different pathologies of infectious origins; the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects related to the control of the pathologies where the species of this genus are used, have been attributed to [...] Read more.
The species of the genus Tabernaemontana have a long tradition of use in different pathologies of infectious origins; the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects related to the control of the pathologies where the species of this genus are used, have been attributed to the indole monoterpene alkaloids, mainly those of the iboga type. There are more than 1000 alkaloids isolated from different species of Tabernaemontana and other genera of the Apocynaceae family, several of which lack studies related to antibacterial activity. In the present study, four monoterpene indole alkaloids were isolated from the seeds of the species Tabernaemontana cymosa Jacq, namely voacangine (1), voacangine-7-hydroxyindolenine (2), 3-oxovoacangine (3), and rupicoline (4), which were tested in an in vitro antibacterial activity study against the bacteria S. aureus, sensitive and resistant to methicillin, and classified by the World Health Organization as critical for the investigation of new antibiotics. Of the four alkaloids tested, only voacangine was active against S. aureus, with an MIC of 50 µg/mL. In addition, an in silico study was carried out between the four isolated alkaloids and some proteins of this bacterium, finding that voacangine also showed binding to proteins involved in cell wall synthesis, mainly PBP2 and PBP2a. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Ex Vivo and In Vivo Study of Some Isoquinoline Precursors
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020037 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 534
Abstract
This article concerns the synthesis and biological activities of some N-(1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-yl) amides as isoquinoline precursors and compounds with smooth muscle (SM) relaxant activity. Aim: find the biological activity of N-(1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-yl) amides and compare it with papaverine, an isoquinoline alkaloid that has been known [...] Read more.
This article concerns the synthesis and biological activities of some N-(1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-yl) amides as isoquinoline precursors and compounds with smooth muscle (SM) relaxant activity. Aim: find the biological activity of N-(1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-yl) amides and compare it with papaverine, an isoquinoline alkaloid that has been known as a brain and coronary vasodilator and SM relaxant. Materials and methods: In silico simulation with the PASS online program predicts SM relaxant activity for the compounds. The amides were tested on the isolated gastric SM preparations (SMPs) from rats to determine their effects on spontaneous contractile activity (CA) compared with papaverine. The in vivo effect on the learning and memory processes of rats was also assessed. Results: the data from the isometric measurements showed that one of the compounds caused ex vivo relaxation in circular SM tissues isolated from the stomach (corpus) of male Wistar rats. Conclusion: We found that the compound’s SM relaxation uses the papaverine pathway. It also has an improving effect on the cognitive functions of learning and memory processes in rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Optimized Methods for Analytical and Functional Comparison of Biosimilar mAb Drugs: A Case Study for Avastin, Mvasi, and Zirabev
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020036 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Bevacizumab is a humanized therapeutic monoclonal antibody used to reduce angiogenesis, a hallmark of cancer, by binding to VEGF-A. Many pharmaceutical companies have developed biosimilars of Bevacizumab in the last decade. The official reports provided by the FDA and EMA summarize the analytical [...] Read more.
Bevacizumab is a humanized therapeutic monoclonal antibody used to reduce angiogenesis, a hallmark of cancer, by binding to VEGF-A. Many pharmaceutical companies have developed biosimilars of Bevacizumab in the last decade. The official reports provided by the FDA and EMA summarize the analytical performance of biosimilars as compared to the originators without giving detailed analytical procedures. In the current study, several key methods were optimized and reported for analytical and functional comparison of bevacizumab originators (Avastin, Altuzan) and approved commercial biosimilars (Zirabev and Mvasi). This case study presents a comparative analysis of a set of biosimilars under optimized analytical conditions for the first time in the literature. The chemical structure of all products was analyzed at intact protein and peptide levels by high-resolution mass spectrometry; the major glycoforms and posttranslational modifications, including oxidation, deamidation, N-terminal PyroGlu addition, and C-terminal Lys clipping, were compared. The SPR technique was used to reveal antigen and some receptor binding kinetics of all products, and the ELISA technique was used for C1q binding affinity analysis. Finally, the inhibition performance of the samples was evaluated by an MTS-based proliferation assay in vitro. Major glycoforms were similar, with minor differences among the samples. Posttranslational modifications, except C-terminal Lys, were determined similarly, while unclipped Lys percentage was higher in Zirabev. The binding kinetics for VEGF, FcRn, FcγRIa, and C1q were similar or in the value range of originators. The anti-proliferative effect of Zirabev was slightly higher than the originators and Mvasi. The analysis of biosimilars under the same conditions could provide a new aspect to the literature in terms of the applied analytical techniques. Further studies in this field would be helpful to better understand the inter-comparability of the biosimilars. Full article
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Article
Concepts for New Rapid Simple HPLC Method for Quantification of Fosfomycin Trometamol in Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms with Direct UV Detection
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020035 - 24 May 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Two different concepts for developing direct HPLC-UV methods for quantifying fosfomycin trometamol were developed without any derivatization and modification of the analyte. In the first concept, without the use of alkylamines as ion-pairs in the mobile phase, by using cyanopropyl CN and a [...] Read more.
Two different concepts for developing direct HPLC-UV methods for quantifying fosfomycin trometamol were developed without any derivatization and modification of the analyte. In the first concept, without the use of alkylamines as ion-pairs in the mobile phase, by using cyanopropyl CN and a strong anion-exchanger column, we investigated the possibility of their highly polar and anion-exchanging forces and mechanisms to retain, separate and detect trometamol without the help of additional agents or modifiers. In the second concept, the most frequent reversed-phase C18 columns with different characteristics and vendors were tested in combination with different length-based alkylamines with 3–10 C atoms in their chains. In our research, we found that the ion-pairing of fosfomycin with 6–10 C-atom-based alkyl-length of aliphatic chains manifested the most appropriate strength of interactions between alkyl-paired trometamol molecules and octadecylsilane or C18 bonded RP column to achieve optimal retention, selectivity and peak shape on chromatograms, with the possibility for the fine-tuning of elution time. The simplicity of our method concept omits the need for expensive and sophisticated columns like HILIC, C30 graphite carbon, and mixed-mode-based columns for easier retaining, separation, and determination of fosfomycin, and for its quantification purposes, especially in high-throughput analyses in regular quality-control laboratories. Full article
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Review
Quality by Design: A Suitable Methodology in Industrial Pharmacy for Costa Rican Universities
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020034 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 733
Abstract
This review aims to present the Quality by Design (QbD) model as a suitable methodology to perform research in the academic Costa Rican institutions that teach Pharmacy. Pubmed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases were screened for original research papers and review papers [...] Read more.
This review aims to present the Quality by Design (QbD) model as a suitable methodology to perform research in the academic Costa Rican institutions that teach Pharmacy. Pubmed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases were screened for original research papers and review papers published not more than ten years ago. Institutional repositories from the different universities were reviewed as well. The QbD model stands out as a great methodology for carrying out research projects regarding Pharmaceutical Sciences, but especially for Industrial Pharmacy, where it has contributed in terms of formulation development, manufacturing, and quality control. Academic research based on this model enables the training and development of practical, scientific, and leadership skills in Industrial Pharmacy students. The generated knowledge can be shared in classrooms, which represents an ideal environment to communicate research results and to foster collaborative work between researchers, professors, and students. Moreover, research performed through a QbD approach increases the confidence shown by the industrial sector and health regulatory authorities in the quality of the research, products, and knowledge that are developed and created in an Academy. As a result, the implementation of the model has allowed the creation, transfer, and materialization of knowledge from the Costa Rican Academy to different local pharmaceutical industries. Full article
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Article
Quality and In Vivo Assessment of a Fulvic Acid Complex: A Validation Study
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020033 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 602
Abstract
The present work aimed to re-assess the bioavailability enhancement potential of fulvic acid (FA). Carbamazepine (CBZ) and peat were used as a model drug and FA source, respectively. Our group has already evaluated the bioavailability enhancement potential of a less commercially viable source [...] Read more.
The present work aimed to re-assess the bioavailability enhancement potential of fulvic acid (FA). Carbamazepine (CBZ) and peat were used as a model drug and FA source, respectively. Our group has already evaluated the bioavailability enhancement potential of a less commercially viable source of FA, i.e., shilajit. In the present work, the phase solubility of CBZ was analyzed with varying concentrations of peat-sourced FA (2–12% w/v). The prepared complex (CBZ-FA) was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Dissolution, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic studies were also carried out. The results showed the presence of an interaction between the drug and FA within the complex, which led to 98.99 ± 2.0% enhancement in drug solubility. The results also showed 79.23 ± 2.1% dissolution of the complexed drug over 60 min and 69.32 ± 2.2% permeation from the intestinal gut sac over 90 min, which led to a significant enhancement of bioavailability and a reduction in the duration of epileptic seizures. Thus, this study re-authenticates our earlier results and suggests switching the FA source (shilajit to peat) for commercial product development. Full article
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Article
Comparison of the Purity and Impurity of Glucagon-for-Injection Products under Various Stability Conditions
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020032 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Glucagon is a polypeptide hormone that serves as an essential therapeutic agent in the emergency treatment of hypoglycemia. Recently, the first generic glucagon for injection was approved. However, unlike its brand name counterpart, which is produced via recombinant DNA, the generic glucagon is [...] Read more.
Glucagon is a polypeptide hormone that serves as an essential therapeutic agent in the emergency treatment of hypoglycemia. Recently, the first generic glucagon for injection was approved. However, unlike its brand name counterpart, which is produced via recombinant DNA, the generic glucagon is produced using a chemical synthesis method. Regardless of its origin, impurities may occur in both glucagon drug products. While these impurities may greatly compromise the safety and efficacy of the glucagon drug products, studies accessing the impurities of glucagon for injection are limited. This manuscript analyzed the stability and impurities of a generic and brand glucagon for injection, including desamido and non-desamido impurities, under various storage and temperature conditions using an ultra-performance liquid chromatography method. The glucagon products were analyzed after 6 and 24 months of storage under room temperatures (20–25 °C). In addition, the products were also assessed after 6 months of storage under high temperatures (40 °C). Under each stability storage condition, three lots of the synthetic glucagon were evaluated by UPLC with at least one lot of the recombinant glucagon for comparison. A total of 37 peaks were identified (except for the solvent peaks, which appeared at retention times less than 1.5 min) from the synthetic and recombinant glucagon lots. It was found that the number of impurities observed in the synthetic glucagon were lower than the referenced recombinant glucagon across all stability conditions. Throughout all tested conditions, the synthetic glucagon for injection had an averaged purity of 92.8–99.3%, while the referenced recombinant drug had an averaged purity of 70.3–91.7%. Based on the study results, it can be concluded that the impurity profile for the synthetic glucagon for injection has a comparable and even lower level of impurities than the recombinant version under all stability conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Antifungal and Modulatory Activity of Lemon Balm (Lippia alba (MILL.) N. E. BROWN) Essential Oil
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020031 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Fungal diseases and the progressive development of resistance are a challenge. In this context, Lippia alba (lemon balm) is a species used in folk medicine, being described with antimicrobial potential. The aim of this study was to determine the antifungal activity and modulating [...] Read more.
Fungal diseases and the progressive development of resistance are a challenge. In this context, Lippia alba (lemon balm) is a species used in folk medicine, being described with antimicrobial potential. The aim of this study was to determine the antifungal activity and modulating effect of the essential oil of Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown leaves (LaEO). The antifungal activity of LaEO on eight Candida strains was determined by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum lethal concentration (MLC), minimum biofilm inhibition concentration (MBIC), minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) and time-kill. The checkerboard technique was used to determine the modulating effect of LaEO on antifungal activity. The results indicate the presence of 11 constituents, with a predominance of carvone (58.15%) and limonene (25.37%). LaEO was able to inhibit the growth of all tested microorganisms, with MIC and MLC ranging from 0.078 to 1.25 mg/mL and MBIC and MBEC ranging from 0.156 to 5 mg/mL. The time-kill assay showed that LaEO was able to eliminate the strains after two hours of exposure and the best association was observed for the combination of LaEO and ketoconazole. The results of the study indicate that LaEO has excellent antifungal activity with potential biotechnological application. Full article
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Article
Cinnamomum bejolghota Extract Inhibits Colorectal Cancer Cell Metastasis and TGF-β1-Induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition via Smad and Non-Smad Signaling Pathway
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020030 - 09 May 2022
Viewed by 951
Abstract
Cinnamomum bejolghota, used in Thai traditional medicine remedies, has several biological activities including antimicrobial, antifungal, and anticancer. In colorectal cancer, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an initial step of cancer metastasis. Thus, this study investigated the effects of C. bejolghota bark extract (CBE) [...] Read more.
Cinnamomum bejolghota, used in Thai traditional medicine remedies, has several biological activities including antimicrobial, antifungal, and anticancer. In colorectal cancer, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an initial step of cancer metastasis. Thus, this study investigated the effects of C. bejolghota bark extract (CBE) on colorectal cancer cell metastasis and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT in LoVo cells. The results showed that CBE could reduce cell migration, invasion, and adhesion of LoVo cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, our studies also showed that CBE could reverse TGF-β1-induced morphological changes as well as increase an epithelial marker, E-cadherin, while the expression of the mesenchymal marker, N-cadherin, was decreased in TGF-β1-treated LoVo cells. MMP-2 expression was effectively decreased but TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 expression was increased by the CBE treatment in LoVo cells. CBE also inhibited Smad2/3 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation as well as decreased the expression of Snail, Slug, and TCF8/ZEB1 transcription factors in LoVo cells. Moreover, CBE could inhibit TGF-β1-induced Smad-independent signaling pathway by decreased phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38, and Akt. These findings suggest that CBE inhibited TGF-β1-induced EMT in LoVo cells via both Smad-dependent and Smad-independent pathways. Therefore, CBE may function as an alternative therapeutic treatment for colorectal cancer metastasis. Full article
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Article
Gossypol from Gossypium spp. Inhibits Helicobacter pylori Clinical Strains and Urease Enzyme Activity: Bioactivity and Safety Assessments
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020029 - 05 May 2022
Viewed by 786
Abstract
This study investigates the inhibitory activities of gossypol, a natural polyphenolic compound from Gossypium spp., against Helicobacter pylori (HP) clinical strains and a urease enzyme that plays a key role in the pathogenesis of HP. Gossypol was detected to exhibit a bacteriostatic action [...] Read more.
This study investigates the inhibitory activities of gossypol, a natural polyphenolic compound from Gossypium spp., against Helicobacter pylori (HP) clinical strains and a urease enzyme that plays a key role in the pathogenesis of HP. Gossypol was detected to exhibit a bacteriostatic action against all the HP strains tested with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 3.51 to 4.14 µg/mL. The activity of HP urease (HPU) was efficiently impeded by gossypol with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 3.3 µM using an Electrospray Ionization–Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS)-based method. The in vitro cytotoxicity assay showed no significant cytotoxic properties of gossypol against human gastric epithelial cells. Additionally, molecular docking studies were performed to assess the binding mode and the molecular interactions of gossypol with HPU with a binding affinity value of −8.1 kcal/mol compared with an HPU–acetohydroxamic acid (a standard urease inhibitor) docking complex (–6.1 kcal/mol). The overall results reveal that gossypol might help fight against HP infection by two mechanisms of action: inhibition of the growth of HP and inhibition of urease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Preclinical Safety Profile of an Oral Naringenin/Hesperidin Dosage Form by In Vivo Toxicological Tests
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020028 - 02 May 2022
Viewed by 833
Abstract
We developed a naringenin–hesperidin molar mixture (MIX–160) with proven antihyperglycemic and vasorelaxant activity in preclinical studies. A solid dosage form was manufactured to improve the bioavailability properties. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the oral preclinical toxicity of the MIX–160 dosage [...] Read more.
We developed a naringenin–hesperidin molar mixture (MIX–160) with proven antihyperglycemic and vasorelaxant activity in preclinical studies. A solid dosage form was manufactured to improve the bioavailability properties. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the oral preclinical toxicity of the MIX–160 dosage form, which showed no mortality or significant changes in the body weight, food consumption and tissue/organ mass in rats. Three daily oral doses (50, 300 and 2000 mg/kg of MIX–160) were assayed for 28 days. The results showed no structural abnormalities in the histological analysis and no significant changes (p > 0.05) in the liver biochemical markers (total bilirubin, AST and ALT) compared to the control group. The above findings showed that the MIX–160 dosage form did not exhibit relevant toxic effects, which suggests its potential safety as a drug candidate for clinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Purification of Andrographolide Methanolic Extract Using Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Prepared by Precipitation Polymerization
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020027 - 26 Apr 2022
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) has a specific cavity in which the conformity of shape, size, and functionalities corresponds with its template molecule and has been widely used in separation processes. Therefore, this study aims to examine the application of MIP for the purification [...] Read more.
Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) has a specific cavity in which the conformity of shape, size, and functionalities corresponds with its template molecule and has been widely used in separation processes. Therefore, this study aims to examine the application of MIP for the purification of andrographolide. The MIP was synthesized by precipitation polymerization using methacrylic acid (MAA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as the functional monomer and cross-linker, andrographolide as a template, and acetonitrile:toluene (3:1) as porogen solvent. The results showed that the binding capacity of Synthesized MIP was 1.2486 mg/g, while the particle size was 295.5 nm with a polydispersity index of 0.064. Furthermore, the imprinting and selectivity factors were 1.148 and 12.37, respectively. The purification process by MIP increased the purity from 55.37 ± 0.69 to 94.94% ± 0.34, while the isolate characterization showed that purified andrographolide had a similar character compared to the standard. Full article
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Article
Binding of GS-461203 and Its Halogen Derivatives to HCV Genotype 2a RNA Polymerase Drug Resistance Mutants
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/scipharm90020026 - 21 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is reported to develop GS-461203 resistance because of multiple mutations within the RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp) of HCV. The lack of a high-resolution structure of these RdRp mutants in complex with GS-461203 hinders efforts to understand the drug resistance. [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is reported to develop GS-461203 resistance because of multiple mutations within the RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp) of HCV. The lack of a high-resolution structure of these RdRp mutants in complex with GS-461203 hinders efforts to understand the drug resistance. Here we decipher the binding differences of GS-461203 in the wild type and mutated systems T179A or M289L of HCV RdRp Genotype 2a using homology modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulation. Key residues responsible for GS-461203 binding were identified to be Arg48, Arg158, Asp318, Asp319, and Asp220, and that mutations T179A or M289L have caused conformational changes of GS-461203 in the RdRp active site. The affinities of GS-461203 were reduced in T179A system, but it became slightly stronger in the M289L system. Furthermore, we designed two new analogues of GS-461203 which encouragingly induced more stable interactions than GS-461203, and thus resulted in much better binding energies. This present study reveals how a single mutation, T179A or M289L, will modulate GS-461203 binding in HCV RdRp Genotype 2a, while introducing two novel analogues to overcome the drug resistance which may be good candidate for further experimental verification. Full article
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Article
Compounding in Ukraine: Assessment of the Risks for the Ointment’s Quality by the FMECA Method
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020025 - 19 Apr 2022
Viewed by 842
Abstract
The level of compounded medicines (CM) quality has always been questioned in different countries. This problem has been resolved by the introduction of quality assurance system (QAS) standards. One of its main areas of significance is the risks assessment process, which is especially [...] Read more.
The level of compounded medicines (CM) quality has always been questioned in different countries. This problem has been resolved by the introduction of quality assurance system (QAS) standards. One of its main areas of significance is the risks assessment process, which is especially important for the compounding pharmacy according to the requirements of different international documents. Since ointments constitute a large part of CM, quantity assessment of risks for their quality by the FMECA method has been completed. During the first step of the research, 42 potential deviations of compounded ointments (CO) quality were identified. Via the questioning of compounding pharmacies specialists in different regions of Ukraine by a pre-developed ten-point scale, the severity of deviations consequence, their occurrence probability, and detecting possibility were determined followed by the calculation of the priority risk number (PRN) value. The Pareto analysis showed that nine possible CO quality defects represented 21% of their total number. Defects related to the composition or technology of ointments (29%) and their compliance with microbiological purity requirements (23%) had the largest percentage contribution to the total PRN value. It was also found that the deviations consequence had the most serious impact on the CO quality, due to their direct influence on patient health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Repurposing of Four Drugs as Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Agents and Their Interactions with Protein Targets
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020024 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Although there are existing vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), new COVID-19 cases are increasing due to low immunization coverage and the emergence of new variants. For this reason, new drugs to treat and prevent severe COVID-19 are needed. Here, we [...] Read more.
Although there are existing vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), new COVID-19 cases are increasing due to low immunization coverage and the emergence of new variants. For this reason, new drugs to treat and prevent severe COVID-19 are needed. Here, we provide four different FDA-approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2 proteins involved in the entry and replication process, aiming to identify potential drugs to treat COVID-19. We use the main protease (Mpro), the spike glycoprotein (S protein), and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) as protein targets for anti- SARS-CoV-2 drugs. In our constructed database, we selected different drugs against each target (Mpro, S protein, and RdRp) based on their common interactions with relevant residues involved in viral entry at the host cell and replication. Furthermore, their stability inside the binding pocket, as well as their predicted binding-free energy, allow us to provide new insight into the possible drug repurposing of viomycin (interacting with Mpro) due to its interactions with key residues, such as Asn 143, Glu 166, and Gln 189 at the same time as hesperidin (interacting with the S protein) is interacting with residues Tyr 449, Ser 494, and Thr 500, keeping inside the predicted binding pocket, as well as interacting with residues in different variants of concern. Finally, we also suggest nystatin and elvitegravir (interacting with RdRp) as possible drugs due to their stability within the predicted pocket along the simulation and their interaction with key residues, such as Asp 760, Asp 761, and Asp 618. Altogether our results provide new knowledge about the possible mechanism of the inhibition of viomycin, hesperidin, elvitegravir, and nystatin to inhibit the viral life cycle of SARS-CoV-2 and some of its variants of concern (VOC). Additionally, some iodide-based contrast agents were also found to bind the S protein strongly, i.e., iohexol (−58.99 Kcal/mol), iotrolan (−76.19 Kcal/mol), and ioxilan (−62.37 Kcal/mol). Despite the information we report here as the possible strong interaction between these contrast agents and the SARS-CoV-2′s S protein, Mpro, and RdRp, we believe that further investigation, including chemical modifications in their structures, are needed for COVID-19 treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Scientia Pharmaceutica)
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Article
Enhanced Antibacterial Activity of Brevibacillus sp. SPR19 by Atmospheric and Room Temperature Plasma Mutagenesis (ARTP)
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020023 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Antibiotic resistance is a major health concern worldwide. In our previous study, some bacterial isolates exhibited antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). However, the production of antibacterial substances by native microorganisms is limited by biosynthetic genes. This study [...] Read more.
Antibiotic resistance is a major health concern worldwide. In our previous study, some bacterial isolates exhibited antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). However, the production of antibacterial substances by native microorganisms is limited by biosynthetic genes. This study aimed to improve the antibacterial activity of SPR19 using atmospheric and room temperature plasma mutagenesis (ARTP). The results showed that SPR19 belonged to the Brevibacillus genus. The growth curves and production kinetics of antibacterial substances were investigated. Argon-based ARTP was applied to SPR19, and the 469 mutants were preliminarily screened using agar overlay method. The remaining 25 mutants were confirmed by agar well diffusion assay against S. aureus TISTR 517 and MRSA isolates 142, 1096, and 2468. M285 exhibited the highest activity compared to the wild-type strain (10.34–13.59%) and this mutant was stable to produce the active substances throughout 15 generations consistently. The antibacterial substances from M285 were tolerant to various conditions (heat, enzyme, surfactant, and pH) while retaining more than 90% of their activities. Therefore, Brevibacillus sp. SPR19 is a potential source of antibacterial substances. ARTP mutagenesis is a powerful method for strain improvement that can be utilized to treat MRSA infection in the future. Full article
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Article
Cinnamaldehyde Relieves Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Rat Model via Targeting Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(2), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/scipharm90020022 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Cinnamaldehyde (CA) is a natural compound that has promising biological activity. The current study investigates the antitumor activity of CA in thioacetamide induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rats through targeting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and evaluates the capability of CA to relieve hepatocytes oxidative [...] Read more.
Cinnamaldehyde (CA) is a natural compound that has promising biological activity. The current study investigates the antitumor activity of CA in thioacetamide induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rats through targeting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and evaluates the capability of CA to relieve hepatocytes oxidative stress in the HCC-rat model. After 16 weeks of HCC induction by thioacetamide (TAA), rats were treated for 7 consecutive weeks with CA daily; i.p. injection, Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level, necroinflammatory score and fibrosis percentage were measured to assess HCC development. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway was evaluated by measuring the hepatic protein level of Wnt-3a, β-catenin, cyclin D, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Furthermore, hepatocytes’ oxidative stress was assessed by measuring hepatic GSH and MDA contents. Results showed that CA was significantly inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway through the downregulation of hepatic Wnt-3a, β-catenin, cyclin D, MMP-9, and VEGF. Moreover, CA ameliorates hepatocytes’ oxidative stress via lowering hepatic MDA content and rising hepatic GSH content. Thus, in conclusion, CA is a promising treatment for HCC. It not only has an effective antitumor activity but also ameliorates hepatocytes’ oxidative stress. Full article
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