A team of researchers at the Viromed’s natural product research group said Tuesday that they have discovered the therapeutic effect of HX109, a natural product complex, on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH is a chronic disease that manifests as lower urinary tract symptoms due to enlargement of the prostate of older men.
Globally, 50 percent of males aged 50 or older and 90 percent of men aged 90 years or older have an enlarged prostate, while in Korea, 43 percent of men aged 70 or older are suffering from BPH.
As of now, two types of drugs often treat BPH, one medication that makes norepinephrine inactive and smooths urine excretion through the relaxation of the muscles and another drug that blocks the activation of the male hormone testosterone.
However, the former does not prevent the enlargement of the prostate and causes problems such as hypotension, and the latter regulates the conversion of the male hormone, which causes side effects such as loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.
To resolve such issues, the team at Viromed developed the HX109 formulation, consisting of three plant materials, and studied the effect of HX109 on BPH on a rat model. As a result, the company observed that HX109 effectively suppressed the prostate weight and secretion of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Also, HX109 effectively inhibited the proliferation of cells by treating the androgen, a hormone involved in BPH, in a cell line experiments, as well as inhibiting the expression of various genes regulated by androgen at the transcription level.
Such therapeutic effect is possible as HX109 modulates the intracellular transcription factor, activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) and intracellular calcium levels, which regulates androgen signal transduction.
“The company plans to develop HX109 as natural medicine,” said Son Mi-won, director of Viromed’s R&D center. “The company believes that HX109 is highly likely to become a safe and effective prostate hypertensive medicinal or functional food.”
The results of the research were published in Nutrients.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>