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 NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>