Researchers at King's College London (KCL) have established new surgical
interventions, including coronectomy, to prevent nerve injuries resulting
from wisdom teeth extraction, the most common surgery on the NHS and
worldwide. These interventions have been adopted worldwide, for instance
coronectomy is now a billable procedure in the US, and are also
incorporated into a number of guidelines, for example those by the Royal
College of Surgeons and the British Dental association. The KCL team have
developed a website aimed at providing information for those with
trigeminal nerve injuries, which they can gain both through online content
and by directly emailing the specialist team.
In the last two decades researchers at King's College London (KCL) have
management of benign surgical salivary disease (obstruction and tumours).
pathophysiology of the salivary glands has translated into a complete
change of treatment away
from traditional gland removal to minimally invasive gland preserving
management. In obstructive
disease >90% of stones can be released and <3% of glands removed.
Similarly most parotid
tumours can be removed safely by extracapsular dissection preserving the
gland and significantly
reducing risk of facial nerve injury. In children, >80% of childhood
ranulas now can be treated
without sublingual gland removal. KCL's Dental Institute has become a UK
referral centre for
minimally invasive salivary procedures and the procedures are now used
Bruch's membrane is a structure in the retina responsible for "waste
disposal." Scientists at KCL have provided evidence that matrix
metalloproteinase enzymes clear debris from the membrane and that a loss
of this activity contributes to a build-up of debris that causes a decline
in visual function with normal aging or a more rapid decline in
individuals with retinal disease. This has resulted in the development of
a highly innovative Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy based on the use of
pain-free nanosecond laser pulses to the eye that stimulate a "cleansing"
response to improve nutrient supply across, and waste removal from,
Bruch's membrane. Clinical studies suggest that this novel treatment has
the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of people
suffering from age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy,
diseases that cause vision impairment and blindness in millions of people
The use of a formulary to influence prescribing practice is common, with
almost all hospitals possessing one that attempts to provide advice on the
safe, effective and economic use of medicines. The Maudsley Prescribing
Guidelines to Psychiatry steps beyond the function of a mere formulary and
provides evidence-based guidance on the use of psychotropic medicines that
influences prescribing on both a national and international basis. Now in
its 11th Edition and translated into nine languages, much of
the evidence in The Guidelines is generated by King's College
London research. Additionally, this research is used in other guidelines,
in clinical handbooks and in prescribing practices around the world.
Neurons in the central nervous system do not normally regenerate
following injury, due in part to the presence of `inhibitory' molecules
that actively prevent the growth and/or collateral sprouting of axons.
King's College London scientists identified myelin associated glycoprotein
(MAG) as the first myelin inhibitory molecule and demonstrated that
inhibition of MAG function with a monoclonal antibody promotes axonal
regeneration. They have gone on to promote MAG and its receptor (called
the NgR1) as druggable therapeutic targets. Their discovery has led the
UK's largest pharmaceutical company — GlaxoSmithKline — to develop
monoclonal antibodies to MAG and a second myelin inhibitor as clinical
drug candidates. The anti-MAG therapeutic successfully completed Phase I
and II clinical trials in humans for stroke during 2008-2013.
King's College London (KCL) researchers contributed to the discovery that
increased C fibre
nerve activity in the bladder is a major cause of overactive bladder (OAB)
syndrome. Based on
this insight, KCL researcher Professor Dasgupta, a surgical urologist at
Guy's Hospital, and his
team pioneered a new surgical technique for micro-injecting Botulinum
Toxin-A (BTX-A) directly
into the bladder to suppress C fibres and improve bladder control. The KCL
conducted the world's first successful clinical trials into the minimally
invasive injection of BTX-A
n OAB patients. These trials received significant international media
coverage. This cost-effective
OAB therapy is now licensed by the EU and FDA, is recommended in national
international guidelines, and has significantly improved the treatment of
a common health
Alzheimer's disease (AD) presents society with one of its biggest
challenges, yet despite the investment of billions of dollars there are
only two classes of drug approved that have minimal benefit in patients.
Scientists at King's College London have implicated dysregulation of
retinoid signalling as an early feature of the disease and identified the
retinoic acid receptor (RAR) family as an attractive drug target. They
have gone on to design and patent protect novel orally available RARα
selective agonists and demonstrated that they have the potential to
restore many of the deficits reported in AD patients. Advent Venture
Partners has provided funds to establish a new UK biotechnology company,
CoCo Therapeutics Ltd, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and KCL, to
progress this KCL research into the development of a new treatment for AD.
There a great need to develop novel drugs to treat pain and in particular
chronic pain. Scientists at King's College London (KCL) identified nerve
growth factor (NGF) as an important mediator of persistent pain and
validated it as a therapeutic target by demonstrating the beneficial
effects of neutralising its activity using biological reagents in a number
of animal models. The KCL team collaborated closely with the scientists at
Genentech who went on to develop a neutralising antibody to NGF for the
treatment of pain. This drug has been found to exhibit unprecedented
efficacy in phase III trials in man and is currently being considered for
registration. Their discovery has also led to several other major
pharmaceutical companies initiating drug discovery programs in this area
and has contributed to the subject area of pain management.
Dizziness is one of the most common presenting symptoms in General
Practice, Ear Nose and Throat and neurology clinics. Chronic dizziness in
particular has a major impact on individual and health service resources.
Researchers at King's College London (KCL) have developed an effective
exercise-based rehabilitation programme incorporating optokinetic
stimulation to treat a specific form of chronic dizziness, visual vertigo.
This programme has been adopted by audiology and physiotherapy services
across the UK and is now being adopted internationally and commercialized.
The work of KCL researchers is also reflected by inclusion in information
and continued educational activities with regard to visual vertigo.
The cell adhesion molecule N-cadherin has been shown to be required for
the survival of cancer cells, their metastasis and the formation of new
blood vessels in solid tumours, however, cell adhesion molecules like
N-cadherin were generally not considered to be "druggable." Scientists at
King's College London have contributed to the development of a
"peptide-pipeline" of novel N-cadherin antagonists, including the cyclic
HAV peptide (N-Ac-CHAVC-NH2), also now known as Exherin and/or ADH-1, as a
"first-in-class" N-cadherin antagonist. This compound was granted FDA
organ drug designation for Melanoma in 2008 and successfully completed a
number of phase I and II clinical trials, with an additional clinical
trial currently recruiting. The demonstration that N-cadherin peptides can
be used to treat cancer has changed the perception of what is possible and
opened up new clinical and commercial opportunities.