Active Ingredient History

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Aminolevulinic Acid is the first compound in the porphyrin synthesis pathway. The metabolism of aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is the first step in the biochemical pathway resulting in heme synthesis. Aminolevulinic acid is not a photosensitizer, but rather a metabolic precursor of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), which is a photosensitizer. The synthesis of ALA is normally tightly controlled by feedback inhibition of the enzyme, ALA synthetase, presumably by intracellular heme levels. ALA, when provided to the cell, bypasses this control point and results in the accumulation of PpIX, which is converted into heme by ferrochelatase through the addition of iron to the PpIX nucleus. Marketed under the brand name LEVULAN KERASTICK for Topical Solution plus blue light illumination using the BLU-U Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator, it is indicated for the treatment of minimally to moderately thick actinic keratoses (Grade 1 or 2, see table 2 for definition) of the face or scalp. Aminolevulinic acid is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. An orally-administered in vivo diagnostic agent, Aminolevulinic acid, is used in photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) whose aim is to help doctors visualize the tumor tissue during surgical resection of malignant glioma, it is already sold in over 20 European countries including Germany and the U.K. According to the presumed mechanism of action, photosensitization following application of aminolevulinic acid (ALA) topical solution occurs through the metabolic conversion of ALA to protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), which accumulates in the skin to which aminolevulinic acid has been applied. When exposed to light of appropriate wavelength and energy, the accumulated PpIX produces a photodynamic reaction, a cytotoxic process dependent upon the simultaneous presence of light and oxygen. The absorption of light results in an excited state of the porphyrin molecule, and subsequent spin transfer from PpIX to molecular oxygen generates singlet oxygen, which can further react to form superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. Photosensitization of actinic (solar) keratosis lesions using aminolevulinic acid, plus illumination with the BLU-UTM Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator (BLU-U), is the basis for aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy (PDT).   NCATS

More Chemistry
  • Mechanisms of Action: Missing data
  • Multi-specific: Missing data
  • Black Box: No
  • Availability: Prescription Only
  • Delivery Methods: Topical
  • Pro Drug: No
5-ala | 5 ala hcl | 5-aminolevulinic acid | 5-aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride | ala(2)-met(5)-enkephalinamide | aminolevulinate | aminolevulinic acid | aminolevulinic acid hcl | aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride | bf-200 ala | dala | gliolan | levulan | δ-ala | δ-aminolevulinic acid

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