Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NIAMS Researchers Collaborate to Produce Targeted Immunosuppressant Drug

31.10.2003


Investigators at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), Pfizer Global Research and Development and Stanford University have collaborated in studying a new immunosuppressant drug, CP-690,550, that may avoid some of the common side effects associated with other medications that curb the immune system. The new drug, discovered by Pfizer researchers, may be of major importance for those who are treated with immunosuppressants for organ transplants or autoimmune diseases.



John O’Shea, M.D., Yong-Jie Zhou, M.D., and their team in the NIAMS Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch joined scientists from Pfizer and Stanford in developing and studying the drug. CP-690,550 was tested in mice with heart transplants and in monkeys with kidney transplants done by Stanford. In both cases, animals treated with CP-690,550 survived much longer than untreated animals. None of the treated animals showed signs of such immunosuppressant side effects as increased cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure or increased white blood cell count. The animals also showed no significant decreases in white blood cells or platelets.

The new drug, reported in the journal Science, inhibits the enzyme Jak3, a protein discovered by the NIAMS team in 1994 that is found only in immune system cells. The new study shows that inhibiting this enzyme has the effect of suppressing the immune system, while not affecting other systems of the body. Current immunosuppressant drugs target enzymes found in cells throughout the body, resulting in the toxic side effects. The Jak3 inhibitor has the advantage of selectively targeting a protein that only has effects on immune cells.


The finding culminates a long process of research and discovery by the NIAMS team. After discovering Jak3, the team demonstrated that this protein, called a kinase, was critical for the cell signaling process resulting in the development of infection-fighting white blood cells. They went on to show that the mutation of the gene encoding Jak3 was responsible for a form of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Because Jak3 is essential for immune cell function, and because its expression is limited to blood cells, the team proposed that inhibiting Jak3 might be the basis for a new class of immunosuppressant drugs. The group then entered into a collaborative research and development agreement with Pfizer — a partnership that has enabled Pfizer to develop this new drug.

CP-690,550 is the first Jak3 inhibitor to show positive results in primates. Further animal studies are being conducted to determine if this drug could be used successfully and safely in humans.

Immunosuppressant drugs, which inhibit the body’s immune response, are given to prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs, and are also used to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis. Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to attack healthy, normal tissue as if it were a foreign substance. The finding that CP-690,550 selectively suppresses the immune response in transplant rejection with minimal toxicity also suggests that a Jak3 inhibitor might be useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at http://www.niams.nih.gov.

Ray Fleming | NIH News
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/oct2003/niams-30.htm
http://www.niams.nih.gov.

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>