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Novel treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis

18.08.2009
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that attacks the joints producing an inflammatory synovitis. Current treatment options include small molecules like methotrexate or biologics like TNFα-blockers, but about 20 % of patients show little or no response to available therapies or suffer from severe long term side effects like infections (i.e. tuberculosis, viral brain infections) or cancer (i.e. lymphomas).

<p> Blockade of the cytokine IL-3 is a promising novel strategy for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In contrast to existing therapies an IL-3 blocker could prevent disease exacerbation during early phases of the disease. Such product could substitute TNFα-blockers and open new markets for disease prevention <p> We offer the opportunity for development of IL-3 antagonists for treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The next steps of product development are clearly defined and include in vitro characterization of antibodies in various functional assays, additional in vivo studies in mouse arthritis models, humanization of a suitable monoclonal antibody and the preparation for a phase I clinical trial. <p>

Preclinical data has been generated using monoclonal antibodies against IL-3 in a well established mouse model for rheumatoid arthritis.

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