Here are some interesting studies:

1. Research with the drug BAY 41-2272

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) and obesity are major risk factors for erectile dysfunction (ED). In diabetes, increased oxidative stress leads to decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, and diabetic patients appear to be less responsive to conventional therapy with phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. We investigated whether the soluble guanylyl cyclase stimulator BAY 41-2272 (5-cyclopropyl-2-[1-(2-fluoro-benzyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridine-3-yl]pyrimidin-4ylamine) is effective in improving impaired corpus cavernosum (CC) relaxation in obese DM2 mice by reducing oxidative stress. Adult db/db(-/-) mice or their lean db(/+) littermates were used to assess vascular function, cGMP levels, antioxidant status, NADPH oxidase expression, and superoxide formation in the absence or presence of BAY 41-2272. Results showed that BAY 41-2272 (10(-8) to 10(-5) M) potently relaxed CC from db(/+) or db/db(-/-) mice in a similar manner. BAY 41-2272 significantly enhanced both endothelium-dependent and nitrergic relaxation induced by electrical field stimulation (EFS), and improved the impaired relaxation to acetylcholine and EFS in the diabetic animals in a concentration-dependent manner (10(-8) to 10(-7) M). BAY 41-2272 increased cGMP levels and potentiated relaxation responses to exogenous NO in CC. Total antioxidant status was reduced in plasma and urine whereas expression of vascular NADPH oxidase subunits (gp91phox, p22phox, and p47phox) was increased in the CC of db/db(-/-) mice, suggesting a state of oxidative stress. These effects were prevented by BAY 41-2272 in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that BAY 41-2272 improves CC relaxation in db/db(-/-) mice by increasing cGMP and augmenting antioxidant status, making this drug is a potential novel candidate to treat ED.


2. Blue-light for erections

Precise spatiotemporal control of physiological processes by optogenetic devices inspired by synthetic biology may provide novel treatment opportunities for gene- and cell-based therapies. An erectile optogenetic stimulator (EROS), a synthetic designer guanylate cyclase producing a blue-light-inducible surge of the second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in mammalian cells, enabled blue-light-dependent penile erection associated with occasional ejaculation after illumination of EROS-transfected corpus cavernosum in male rats. Photostimulated short-circuiting of complex psychological, neural, vascular, and endocrine factors to stimulate penile erection in the absence of sexual arousal may foster novel advances in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.


3. Other new drugs in development

Introduction: Erectile dysfunction adversely affects the lives of millions of men, and is the most commonly treated sexual disorder today. The erectile process has been extensively investigated, with major advances made in elucidating many of the complex molecular pathways involved. These advances have allowed researchers to design and study drug formulations that target various aspects of this complex process. The initial culmination of this research was the introduction of phosphodiesterase 5-inhibitors. While effective in many patients, they are not satisfactory for all afflicted men. As a result, researchers are developing novel drugs that target different molecular pathways. Areas covered: The paper will review these pathways, and the potential agents that target them. More specifically, first dopaminergic and melanocortin receptor agonists that act centrally will be covered. Then, the paper will examine the “second-generation” phosphodiesterase 5-inhibitors, soluble guanylate cyclases, rho-kinase inhibitors, and maxi-k channel activators that act peripherally. Expert opinion: Most of these novel drugs have yet to reach Phase III studies. However, it is likely that in years to come, patients will be selectively treated with these novel agents as a monotherapy or in combination with others acting in a synergistic manner.