Scientists make advances in hyperthyroidism drug research

A team of scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) recently synthesized a key molecule that could potentially translate into a drug for hyperthyroidism, the Wall Street Journal reports. The findings were published in Angewandte Chemie, a chemistry journal published out of Germany.

If successful, the chemical could balance thyroid levels without side effects such as excessive balding and jaundice, which are commonly associated with current drugs, the researchers added.

"We are still very much in the pre-clinical stage," said Govindasamy Mugesh, associate professor, department of inorganic and physical chemistry at IISc. "We've synthesized the molecule and have seen that the underlying mechanism works. But animal studies and clinical trials are a long way off."

The current drug approach involves cutting the levels of iodine - a thyroid regulator - by mimicking an enzyme called deiodinase, which completely blocks their production.

"That works negatively because these hormones are responsible for practically every metabolic function in the body. So, complete shutdown could trigger side effects and even hypothyroidism, which comes with its own problems," said Mugesh.

His team has developed a completely new compound that only lowers T3 and T4 levels. "Therefore, the optimum balance is maintained," he added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hyperthyroidism is due to excessive circulation of thyroid hormones. 
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