Nova Pharmaceutical Corp., the Baltimore drug developer, has announced a potentially significant breakthrough that could someday result in better treatments for colds, asthma and pain caused by inflammation.
Using computer-assisted chemistry, researchers at the company have developed a new class of drugs that block inflammation-causing substances released by the body.
Nova began work on the drugs, called "bradykinin antagonists," in 1985, based on research performed at the University of Colorado. Early versions of the antagonists were tested on cold patients but produced disappointing results.
According to a study published by Nova researchers this week in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a new class of antagonists have been developed that are 600-800 times more potent and produce longer-lasting effects.
"We do not have the cure for the cold. . . . We are treating the symptoms," said Kira Bacon, a spokeswoman for Nova.
If the substances prove themselves in tests, "It would be very significant," she said.
It could take researchers more than five years to determine the effectiveness of the new compounds, she said.
Nova's research focuses on central nervous system disorders and anti-inflammation agents.