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  Pharmaceutical Patents  


Title:  Use of botulinum toxin therapy for treatment of recalcitrant voiding dysfunction
United States Patent: 
November 15, 2011

Schmidt; Richard A. (Arvada, CO)
  The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate (Boulder, CO)
Appl. No.: 
October 1, 2008


Pharm Bus Intell & Healthcare Studies


The present invention related to methods for treating neurological-urological conditions. This is accomplished by administration of at least one neurotoxin.

Description of the Invention


The present invention provides methods for treating neuronally-mediated urologic and related disorders, for example, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis. This is accomplished by administering a composition that includes at least one neurotoxic compound or by conventional therapies.


Many medical conditions in urology are rooted in a spastic dysfunction of the sacral reflex arcs. Examples of such conditions include pelvic pain (e.g., interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, prostatodynia, urethral instability syndromes), pelvic myofascial elements (e.g., levator sphincter, dysmenorrhea, anal fistula, hemorrhoid), urinary incontinence (e.g., unstable bladder, unstable sphincter), prostate disorders (e.g., BPH, prostatitis, prostate cancer), recurrent infection (secondary to sphincter spasticity), and urinary retention (secondary to spastic sphincter, hypertrophied bladder neck) and neurogenic bladder dysfunction (e.g., Parkinson's Disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spasm reflex).

The prostate is a partially glandular and partially fibromuscular gland of the male reproductive system. During aging, the prostate tends to enlarge (hypertrophy). This prostatic enlargement can lead to urethral obstruction and voiding dysfunction.

Prostatic enlargement is a common occurrence in older men. Lytton et al. (Lytton, B., Emery, J. M. and Harvard, B. M. [1973] 99: 639-645) estimated that a 45 year old male had a 10% risk of prostate surgery by age 70. The U.S. Census Report estimates that there are 30 million people today over age 65. This segment of the population is projected to rise to 50 million over the next 30 years. Therefore, the number of men with prostatic enlargement also will increase. According to draft reports of the National Kidney and Urologic Disease Advisory Board, 425,000 prostatectomies were performed in the United States in 1989. Based on population growth estimates, the number of prostatectomies performed annually will rise to 800,000/year by the year 2020.

The urethra passes through the prostate (prostatic urethra) as it courses to the external urethral orifice. The prostate has five distinct lobes that are apparent at 12 weeks in the human fetus (Lowsley, O. S. Am. J. Anat. [1912] 13: 299-349.). Although the lobular branching found in the fetus is not visible in the prepubescent prostate, the lateral middle anterior and posterior lobes are used to describe the enlarged prostate.

A more recent viewpoint is that the prostate also is comprised of several morphologically distinct zones (McNeal, J. Urol. Clin. North Am. [1990] 17(3): 477-486). The majority of the glandular volume is composed of the peripheral zone (.about.70-75%). The remainder of glandular volume is divided into the central zone (.about.20-25%), the transition zone (.about.5-10%) and the periurethral glandular zone (.about.1%).

McNeal (1990) reported that BPH develops in the transition zone and the periurethral glandular zone. BPH nodules develop either within or immediately adjacent to the pre-prostatic sphincteric zone. The transition zone is a small region close to the urethra intimately related to the proximal urethral sphincter. The stroma of the transition zone is dense and compact, and is unusually susceptible to neurologically-induced disturbances of growth control. Its glands penetrate the sphincter, while sphincter muscle fibers penetrate the transition stroma. The periurethral glandular zone has a similar urogenic sinus origin as the transition zone.

BPH may be associated with increased amounts of stroma relative to epithelium (Bartsch, G., Muller, H. R., Oberholzer, M., Rohr, H., P., J. Urol. [1979] 122: 487-491). A significant portion of the stroma is smooth muscle (McNeal, 1990) which is under sympathetic nervous control. The contractile properties of this smooth muscle could account for the dynamic component of obstruction in BPH (Bruschini, H. et al. [1978] Invest. Urol. 15(4): 288-90; Lepor, H. [1990] Urol. Clin. North Am. 17(3): 651-658).

In addition to sympathetic control of prostatic stroma, the prostate is highly innervated. The prostate nerve fibers enter the prostate from the posterior lateral aspect, with a concentration of ganglia near the junction between the prostate and the seminal vesicles (Maggi, C. A., ed. [1993] Nervous control of the Urogenital System, Harwood Academic Publishers; Higgins, J. R. A. and Gosling, J. A. [1989] Prostate Suppl. 2: 5-16). Acetylcholine (ACH), neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and noradrenaline fibers have been described in this gland. A rich plexus of ACH-positive nerve cell bodies is associated with secretory acini in all parts of the gland. Some of the ACH fibers also contain NPY neurons. VIP-containing neurons have been found associated with ACH-containing nerve cell bodies. Occasional neurons have been found between the ACH-staining nerve fibers, suggesting that both NPY and noradrenergic neurons supply smooth muscle (Higgins, J. R. A. and Gosling, J. A. [1989] Prostate Suppl. 2: 5-16).

Autonomic nerves are distributed evenly between the central and peripheral zones of the prostate (Higgins, J. R. A. and Gosling, J. A. [1989] Prostate Suppl. 2: 5-16). Peripheral neuronal control is similar. In addition, there is no difference in the type of nerve fibers found associated with either epithelial or stromal elements of the gland.

The anatomical studies of nerve fiber types in the prostate, coupled with other studies of innervation of prostatic stroma (Brushing H., Schmidt, R. A., Tanagho, E. A., [1978] Invest. Urol. 15(4): 288-290; Watanabe, H., Shima, M., Kojima, M., Ohe, H. L. [1989] Pharmacol. Res. 21(Suppl 2): 85-94) suggest that cholinergic innervation influences epithelial behavior, while adrenergic innervation influences stromal tonus (excitability). These observations have provided a rationale for the use of, for example, alpha blockers in the treatment of BPH. The effects of alpha blockers (Downie, J. W. and Bialik, G. J. [1988] J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 246(1): 352-358) can also account for improvements in symptoms of BPH as a result of dampening of dysfunctional striated sphincter behavior by the alpha blockers.

Studies have also shown that there are several tachykinins (for example, substance P [SP], calcitonin gene related peptide [CGRP], neurokinin A, bradykinin, and nerve growth factor [NGF]) that can influence the tonus of smooth muscle (Hakanson, et al., [1987] Neuroscience 21(3): 943-950). Neurotransmitter receptors have been quantified throughout the prostate (e.g., NPY, VIP, SP, leu-enkephalin (L-enk), met-enkephalin, 5-HT, somatostatin, acetylcholinesterase positive fibers (ACTH), and dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) (Crowe, R., Chapple, C. R., Burnstock, G. The Human Prostate Gland: A Histochemical and Immunohistochemical Study of Neuropeptides, Serotonins, Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase and Acetylcholinesterase in Autonomic Nerves and Ganglia). There is some variation in receptor density at different prostatic sites in benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Changes in electrophysiologically recorded cellular behavior and in concentration of neuropeptides within the spinal cord have been shown to be a secondary consequence of mechanical pinch to the tail muscles of a rat, catheter stimulation of the posterior urethra, and electrostimulation of a peripheral nerve. Dyssynergia between the detrusor and the urethral sphincter is a significant finding in prostatodynia patients. Denervation of the prostate has been shown to produce dramatic changes within the prostatic epithelium. Thus there is evidence that experimentally induced alterations in neurological influences can be produced in the sacral, spinal cord, bladder or urethra through mechano-, electron, chemical or thermal (microwave, laser) methods to change irritative behavior. However, there have been no known attempts to use neurotoxins for therapeutic applications.

There is poor correlation between the degree of prostatic enlargement and the severity of symptoms. While 80% of men age 70 show BPH on transrectal ultrasound scans, only 20% seek surgery (Coffey, D. S. and Walsh, P. C. [1990] Urol. Clin. North Am. 17(3): 461-475), the treatment of choice for BPH (Fowler, F. J. Jr., Wennberg, J. E., Timothy, R. P. [1988] J. Amer. Med. Assoc., 259(20): 3022-3028). Symptoms of irritation may far exceed symptoms expected based on the size of the prostate. Symptoms may improve after surgical treatment of BPH by procedures such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) (Christensen, Aagaard, M. M. J., Madsen, P. O. [1990] Urol. Clin. North Am. 17(3): 621-629), balloon dilation (Dowd, J. B. and Smith, J. J. III [1990] Urol. Clin. North Am. 17(3): 671-677), or prostatic hyperthermia (Baert, L., Ameye, F., Willemen, P., et al, [1990] J. Urol. 144: 1383-1386). However, symptoms persist in as many as 15% of all BPH patients (Baert, L., Ameye, F., Willemen, P., et al., [1990] J. Urol. 144: 1383-1386; Wennberg, J. E., Mully, A. G., Hanley, D., Timothy, R. P., Fowler, F. J., Roos, R. P., Barry, M. J. et al., [1988] J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 259: 3027-3030). Up to 25% of BPH patients have secondary procedures in long term follow-up studies, suggesting that surgical approaches do not address the fundamental mechanisms that produce BPH, i.e., the faulty neurological influence (control mechanism) on the integrity of the lower urinary tract.

The need for repeated surgeries, the morbidity and mortality associated with TURP and the cost of surgery have led to the development of some non-surgical approaches such as androgen ablation (McConnell, J. D., [1990] Urol. Clin. North Am. 17(3): 661-670) and the use of alpha blockers discussed above, but few medical or surgical treatments to date have produced a restoration of void behavior to normal state (flow rate of about 25 cc/sec and void volume of about 400 cc).

The present invention uses chemical and non-chemical methods, particularly neurotoxins, to modulate neuronally-mediated urologic and related disorders. For example, such methods can be used to treat BPH and related conditions such as prostatitis. The instant invention also may remove triggers of changes in the CNS by non-chemical methods including biofeedback, or by chemical methods that treat BPH and other urological conditions by the administration of substances that block various neurological activities, such as, for example, selected neurotoxins.


It is an object of the instant invention to provide safe, inexpensive, out patient methods for the prevention and treatment of urological-neurological dysfunctional states or conditions, for example, prostatic enlargement.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide compositions for this therapeutic goal. It is a still further object of the present invention to provide dosages and methods of administration for compositions useful for the prevention and treatment of neurological-urological conditions.

Other objects of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there are provided methods of treating urological-neurological conditions in mammals, said methods comprising the step of administering a therapeutically effective amount of at least one neurotoxin to such a mammal. It is preferred that the neurotoxin inhibits synaptic function. Such inhibition produces selective denervation, and, for example, atrophy of the prostate and reversal of irritative symptoms associated with prostatic enlargement. In one embodiment of the instant invention, the neurotoxin induces dysfunction of the presynaptic neuronal terminal by specific binding and blockade of acetylcholine release at myoneural junctions. Such a neurotoxin can be, for example, botulinum toxin type A (e.g., BOTOX.RTM., Allergan).

Preferably, the neurotoxin is safe, highly selective and easy to deliver, including when combined with other therapies. Other useful neurotoxins include capsaicin, resinoferatoxin and .alpha.-bungotoxin. Delivery of the neurotoxin can be by any suitable means. A convenient and localized method of delivery is by injection.

A therapeutically effective amount of the neurotoxin is the dosage sufficient to inhibit neuronal activity for at least one week, more preferably one month, most preferably for approximately 6 to 8 months or longer. Dosing can be single dosage or cumulative (serial dosing), and can be readily determined by one skilled in the art. Neurotoxin can be delivered serially (i.e., one time per month, one time per every six months) so that the therapeutic effect can be optimized. Such a dosage schedule is readily determined by one skilled in the art based on, e.g., patient size and the condition to be treated, and will depend on many factors, including the neurotoxin selected, the condition to be treated, the degree of irritation, and other variables. One suggested course of treatment for BPH is 200 units every three days up to the LD50 for Botox or about 2500 units.

The aforementioned methods of treatment should be particularly useful for the long-term control of neurological-urological disorders, e.g., the symptoms of prostatic enlargement, without the need for surgical intervention. Furthermore, the methods of the instant invention provide for control of neurological-urological disorders, e.g., BPH and related conditions, in a highly selective manner, without the potential side effects and treatment failures associated with current treatment modalities.


"Urological-neurological condition or disorder" includes many medical conditions in urology rooted in a spastic dysfunction and/or degeneration of the sacral reflex arcs. Examples of such conditions include pelvic pain (e.g., interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, prostatodynia, urethral instability syndromes), pelvic myofascial elements (e.g., levator sphincter, dysmenorrhea, anal fistula, hemorrhoid), urinary incontinence (e.g., motor or sensory, unstable bladder, unstable sphincter), prostate disorders (e.g., BPH, prostate cancer), recurrent infection (secondary to sphincter spasticity), and urinary retention (secondary to spastic sphincter, hypertrophied bladder neck), and neurogenic bladder dysfunction (e.g., Parkinson's Disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spasm reflex) and other such urological conditions of a nervous etiology.

The prostatic enlargement that can be treated according to the methods of the instant invention can be of any etiology. The instant invention is particularly suited for the treatment of prostatic hyperplasia, especially benign prostatic hyperplasia. The present invention can also be used for the treatment of enlargement of the prostate with inflammation (prostatitis), particularly abacterial prostatitis. In addition, the methods of the instant invention can be used for the treatment of prostatodynia.

Without being bound by theory, the basis for the treatment of the neurological-urological conditions according to the instant invention is the removal or modulation of the neural basis for the dysfunctional regulation of the affected tissue. For example, the modulation of the neural basis of prostate glandular dysfunction can be accomplished by any non-surgical means known in the art. Such means can include, for example, biofeedback, .alpha.-blockers, pharmacological methods, and the use of one or more neurotoxins to inhibit synaptic function in the affected gland. It is preferred that the neurotoxin cause long-lasting inhibition of synaptic function, preferably greater than one week, more preferably greater than one month, most preferably six to eight months or longer. Such neurotoxins can include, for example, capsaicin, resinoferatoxin, .alpha.-bungotoxin, terodotoxin and botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is a preferred neurotoxin according to the instant invention, particularly botulinum toxin A, more particularly BOTOX.RTM. (Allergan).

The toxin can be formulated in any pharmaceutically acceptable formulation in any pharmaceutically acceptable form. Such forms and formulations include liquids, powders, creams, emulsions, pills, troches, suppositories, suspensions, solutions, and the like. The toxin can also be used in any pharmaceutically acceptable form supplied by any manufacturer.

In a preferred embodiment in accordance with the method of the instant invention, the neurotoxin is botulinum toxin type A. Therapeutically effective amounts of botulinum toxin can be any amounts or doses that are less than a toxic dose, for example, less than about 3000 IU/70 kg male, preferably between 100 IU/70 kg male to 1200 IU/70 kg. The dosages can be given as a single dose, or as divided doses, for example, divided over the course of four weeks.

The neurotoxins of the instant invention can be administered by any suitable means. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, botulinum toxin is administered by injection. Such injection can be administered to any affected area. For example, the neurotoxin can be injected urethroscopically into the prostate with 200 IU with single or serial dosing. Preferably, the neurotoxin is injected every three days until a therapeutic effect is achieved or up to about 2500 units.

The following techniques are used in this invention:

Tissue Preparation for Light Microscopy

Tissues are fixed in 6% paraformaldehyde in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.2, for 24 hours, dehydrated in graded alcohol and xylene, and embedded in paraffin. Sections are cut and stained with appropriate stains, such as hematoxylin/eosin.

Tissue Preparation for Electron Microscopy

Tissues are collected and fixed in 2.5% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.2, for 1 hour at C., then incubated with 0.1% osmium tetroxide for 1 hour and embedded in EPON. Ultrathin sections (80 nm) are prepared and stained with lead citrate/uranyl acetate and examined with an electron microscope (Philips, model 201).

Tunel Stain for Apoptosis

The tissue is fixed and embedded as described above. The tissues are deparaffinized and reacted with Proteinase K (Boehringer). They are further treated with peroxidase and TDT enzyme and placed in a humidifier set at C. for one hour. The sections are washed and anti-digoxigenin-peroxidase is added for 30 minutes, followed by staining with nickel-DAB (diaminobenzene).

Immunohistochemistry Studies

The presence of the neuropeptides VIP, SP, NPY, L-Enk and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) as well as the expression of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) are determined in prostatic tissues using appropriate monoclonal antibodies. Use of neurotoxins results in prostatic atrophy, which should be renected by lower levels of growth factors in treated prostatic tissue.

Sections are incubated overnight at room temperature with primary antibodies followed by immunostaining with avidin-biotin-peroxidase (Vectastain Elite ABC, Vector Labs, USA). Rabbit polyclonal antiserum against the neurotransmitters VIP, CGRP, SP, NPY and L-Enk (Peninsula Labs, USA) is used in these preparations, at dilutions of 1:8000 to 1:12,000. Immunocytochemical controls consist of preabsorbing the primary antiserum with appropriate antigen, or their substitution with normal serum (Blasi, J., Chapman, E. R., Yamaskai, S., Binz, T., Niemann, H. and Jahn, R. [1993] The EMBO Journal 12: 4821-4828; Black, J. D. and Dolly, J. O. [1986] J. Cell Biol. 103; 535-544; Linial, M. [1995] Is. J. Med. Sci. 31: 591-595). After mounting on slides, sections are counterstained with eosin, dehydrated and coverslipped.

Western Blot Analysis of Growth Factor Expression

Treated and untreated prostate cell homogenates are examined for expression of growth factors by Western blot analysis. Cell homogenate protein is separated by electrophoresis on SDS-PAGE (7%), then transferred electrophoretically overnight to nitrocellulose paper (Towbin, H., et al., [1979] Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 76(9): 4350-4379). The nitrocellulose paper is soaked for one hour at room temperature in 0.5% non-fat dry milk dissolved in phosphate buffered saline, and further soaked overnight at C. in blocking solution (2% bovine serum albumin in 10 mM Tris/0.15 M NaCl/0.1% sodium azide, pH 7.4). The nitrocellulose membranes are incubated with antibodies (IgG fractions of anti-TGF-beta, anti-TGF-alpha, anti-EGF and anti-bFGF) purified by protein A (1.times.10.sup.6 cpm/ml) in blocking buffer for 1 hour. The membrane is washed with PBS containing Nonidet P-40 between incubations. X-O-mat AR2 film (Kodak) is exposed to the membrane at C. and films are developed to examine the expression of growth factors.

Determination of c-fos and c-myc Expression

Expression of c-fos and c-myc in treated and untreated prostatic tissue is determined by Northern blot analysis as follows. Tissue is homogenized in lysis buffer for 15 seconds or until the tissue homogenizes. Sodium acetate is added and the solution is mixed by swirling. An equal volume of water-saturated phenol is added and mixed by inversion, followed by addition of chloroform/isoamyl alcohol. The solution is vortexed vigorously for 30 seconds, and allowed to settle on ice for 15 minutes. The solution is centrifuged for 10-20 minutes at C. After centrifugation, the aqueous phase is carefully aspirated and placed in a new polypropylene tube. One volume of isopropanol is added and the solution is mixed by swirling. The solution is placed in a C. freezer for at least 60 minutes to precipitate RNA. After precipitation, the tube is centrifuged for 10 minutes, and the supernatant is decanted, leaving the RNA pellet. One ml of ethanol is added, and the tube is centrifuged for an additional 10 minutes. The aqueous phase is discarded, and the pellet is washed with 100% ethanol by vortexing. The RNA pellet is redissolved in 0.4 ml of lysis buffer. The RNA is reprecipitated by the addition of 100% ethanol and incubation at C. freezer for at least 60 minutes. The solution is centrifuged and the supernatant discarded. RNA concentration is determined by diluting 5 .mu.L of sample into 995 .mu.L of DEPC water and measuring the ratio of absorbance at 260/280 nm.

Claim 1 of 16 Claims

1. A method for treating a recalcitrant voiding dysfunction, the method comprising the step of injecting a botulinum toxin to a bladder wall of a patient with a recalcitrant voiding dysfunction, thereby treating the recalcitrant voiding dysfunction.

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