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Issue dated - 02nd Sep. 2004

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Isaar Pharma launches peptide product for Vitiligo

Satyapal Menon - Hyderabad

Hyderabad based Issar Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd has developed a peptide-based lotion — Melgain —- for the treatment of Vitiligo. Melgain, patented in the United States, Australia and India, awaiting patent approval in European countries, has no side effects and contra-indications, claims the company. The product had successfully undergone phase I, II and III clinical trials in India, and got the approval for commercialisation of the product from the Drug Controller General of India, in 2001.

Numerous clinical trials throughout India have demonstrated that treatment of Vitiligo with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) derived peptide has success rate of 80-90 per cent. Vitiligo patch appears white, because melanin, the agent that gives colour to the skin, is absent. Melanin is usually produced by melanocytes, but in cases of Vitiligo, the melanocytes are either absent or non-functional, which visibly result in white patches.

The new patented drug Melgain is able to stimulate the regrowth of melanocytes and results in re-pigmentation. Unlike any other treatment the success of treatment with Melgain is attributed to the growth of melanocytes in depigmented hair roots in the Vitiligo patch and also the skin directly surrounding the patch. It acts as a chemotactic agent, with the migration of those multiplied melanocytes in the hair roots in the patch and of the skin around the patch directed to the interior of the Vitiligo patch.

On maintaining the prescribed standards of application and following the regimen, positive response can be noticed in most cases in about 6-8 weeks in the form of pigmentation at the borders or inside the patch as dots of pigment. The response in 80 per cent is moderate to fast re-pigmentation. Melgain also acts as a vehicle to transport vaccine antigens, protein drugs and protein hormones like insulin through intact skin in to the blood circulation.

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