Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Could arthritis wonder drugs provide clues for all disease?

18.07.2008
Drugs that have helped treat millions of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may hold the key to many more medical conditions, including atherosclerosis – a leading cause of heart disease – says the researcher who jointly invented and developed them.

Professor Marc Feldmann will tell scientists attending the 2008 Congress of European Pharmacological Societies (EPHAR) – hosted by the British Pharmacological Society – that drugs he and colleagues helped develop have already proved successful against other autoimmune diseases.

The drugs target proteins called cytokines, which are protein messaging molecules released by immune cells to alert the immune and other systems that the body is under attack from a pathogen and to initiate a protective counter-response against the infection.

“In autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, we discovered that cytokines are over-produced causing the immune system to fight itself, resulting in inflammation and tissue destruction,” said Professor Feldmann, from Imperial College London, who is speaking at the EPHAR 2008 conference at The University of Manchester this week.

“We further found that by blocking just one cytokine – Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) alpha – we were able to block all the cytokines involved in the inflammation, with remarkable clinical results.”

The team’s research led to the development of three anti-TNF alpha drugs – infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab – which have had a dramatic effect on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis patients, protecting the joints from further deterioration in the vast majority of cases.

Blocking TNF alpha has had further success in treating several more chronic inflammatory conditions, including Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and ulcerative colitis.

But Professor Feldmann, Head of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, believes similar drugs have the potential to treat many other medical conditions and will also tell the conference about his work on atherosclerosis, a disease affecting the arterial blood vessels, commonly known as ‘hardening of the arteries’, with his colleague Dr Claudia Monaco.

Their work, which has won a number of prestigious awards, has resulted in the emergence of a new branch of medicine – anti-cytokine therapy – and research elsewhere has showed promise in yet more conditions, including the potentially fatal acute alcoholic hepatitis.

Professor Feldmann said: “During the conference I will be discussing the potential therapeutic targets in tissue affected by atherosclerosis, which is caused by a chronic inflammatory response in the walls of the arteries, in large part, caused by an excessive immune response to cholesterol.

“I will also discuss whether it is possible – even likely – that cytokines play a critical role in all diseases involving multiple biological processes, thus providing therapeutic targets for all unmet medical needs.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ephar.org/index_fr.htm
http://www.ephar2008.org/
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>