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A Royal Publication for LIU Pharmacy’s Grazia Stagni and Warren Ratna


University Center,

As an expert in pharmacokinetics—the study of how an organism affects a drug— Dr. Grazia Stagni doesn’t generally spend much time with matters of pharmacology and immunology.

However, her work supervising LIU Pharmacy Ph.D. student Mayurkumar Tamakuwala has led to publication by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in its Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

“It’s not my typical paper,” Stagni said. “When you supervise a Ph.D. student, you try to do a project that fits his or her interests, and this was what the student wanted to do.”

The paper, “Fingolimod hydrochloride gel shows promising therapeutic effects in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis,” documents the effectiveness of the immunomodulating drug fingolimod – best known for its use in treating multiple sclerosis – as a treatment for atopic dermatitis. Working with Stagni and Professor of Pharmacology Warren Ratna (an expert in immunology), Tamakuwala induced dermatitis-like lesions in hairless mice – approved by the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee – and treated them using fingolimod, both with and without colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno).

“We wanted to do a pharmacokinetic study of the concentration of this drug in the skin,” Stagni said, “but because it’s so lipophilic, with the technique we had, we were not able to measure it. So, we went directly to an animal model of the disease.”

The results of the study were encouraging, as the treatments that included both fingolimod and colloidal oatmeal were demonstrated to have potential for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. The paper was used to complete Tamakuwala’s doctoral studies, and he is now a research formulation scientist at Carnegie Pharmaceutical in New Jersey. Stagni, meanwhile, has brought her experience on the project back to her own work in pharmacokinetics, where she is planning further study on the role of colloidal oatmeal in the ability of the fingolimod to penetrate the skin.

“This is something we’re going to study more,” Stagni said, “to see if it’s just for fingolimod or if it’s a more general property. This is something that needs to be explored.”

Posted 02/02/2017

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