Trypanosomiasis, or more commonly called sleeping sickness is possibly getting new drug treatment. Animal trials went well, with no serious adverse effects.  Traditional drugs, administered by IV, are hard on a person’s body and can themselves be lethal sometimes.  The new drug is a pill which a patient can easily swallow.

Trypanosomiasis starts out in hemolymphatic or stage 1 with routine symptoms such as headaches and fevers, and it has seldom diagnosed early.  The second or neurologic stage comes with a disruption in sleeping cycles, eventual paralysis, deterioration of mental capabilities, coma and ultimately death.  Roughly 1/3 of patients who ever receive treatment die of the traditional IV medicines, while the death rate is nearly 100% for those who take no medication at all.

The new drug, being called SCYX-7158 for now, is made by Anacor Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto, Ca. and the drug research company Scynexis Inc. located in Research Triangle Park near Durham, N.C. did trials on beagles and non-human primates and found virtually no serious adverse effects.

Researchers found a way to modify carbon to act like boron on the nano level. Boron is currently the only way the disease that can be treated.  The same company has six other drugs out on trials, each utilizing some form of nanotechnology.

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