A new anti-platelet agent that's more effective than aspirin, a new drug for schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and promising new therapies for cancer and osteoporosis are among many breakthroughs made with help from Health Science Center faculty.
During a three-year study the drug clopidogrel was tested on 20,000 patients with atherosclerosis in San Antonio and around the world. This new anti-platelet agent was better than aspirin at reducing the number of heart attacks, strokes and vascular deaths in at-risk patients.
While aspirin prevented about a fourth of the damaging vascular events, clopidogrel prevented about a third of them. Patients treated with clopidogrel were also significantly less likely to suffer from gastrointestinal bleeding than those treated with aspirin. ZyprexaTM (olanzapine), made by Eli Lilly & Co., is the first anti-psychotic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with both 'positive symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking, and 'negative' symptoms, such as emotional withdrawal, blunted emotional responsiveness and inability to experience pleasure.
The drug was tested in the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at the San Antonio State Hospital and at other sites nationwide.
Aredia, a new drug tested by Health Science Center faculty and approved by the FDA, is designed to help breast cancer sufferers and approximately half a million other Americans who have cancer that has spread to the bone. Aredia lowers the rate of complications such as pain and fracture and slows the rate of growth of cancer cells in the bone.
Also, a nationwide clinical trial that included 114 women from South Texas has concluded that replacement hormones increase bone mass in older women—good news for the 25 million people in this country who are at risk of developing the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The Health Science Center was the South Texas site for the three-year study.
Postmenopausal women taking any of four hormone replacement therapy regimens gained significant amounts of bone mass, results show. Participants assigned to estrogen with or without a progestin experienced between a 3 and 5 percent increase in spinal bone mineral density (BMD) after 36 months. By comparison, women on placebo (an inactive drug) lost an average of nearly 2 percent in spinal BMD after three years.