In searching for compounds to treat stroke or sepsis, a Chinese team has found a new activity-and possibly a new indication-for an old drug. Terazosin, a generic a-blocker used in hypertension, inhibited apoptosis and extended survival in rodent models of stroke and sepsis by activating phosphoglycerate kinase 1.1 Although the enzyme could be a viable target for new compounds, repurposing terazosin might be a lower-risk route to draw companies into an area with a reputation for little innovation.
There are in fact several compounds in development for stroke or sepsis, but researchers who spoke with SciBX noted that companies are often tentative about entering either field because the preclinical models are poorly predictive of results in humans.
"The problem is that we've cured a lot of rodents with stroke, but we haven't cured a lot of patients," said David Lowe, a board member at Amarantus BioScience Holdings Inc. "For this reason, the stroke space is often referred to as the graveyard of drug development in CNS."
He added, "If someone can prove that the drug and