Development of drug candidates for rheumatoid arthritis

Under a basic research program specific and Brain Korea 21 program, a joint research team from the Catholic University and St. Vincent Hospital of Korea announced in February 2009 that it would soon propose candidates drugs against rheumatoid arthritis.

After having identified the protein PIGF (Placental Growth Factor) as a factor in the disease, scientists have found that the protein was expressed in tissues seats arthritis and was locally increased rates of TNF alpha (Tumor necrosis factor alpha ) and IL-6 (interleukin 6), two protein factors involved in the acute phase of inflammation. This accumulation of TNF alpha and IL-6 induces a state of chronic inflammation in patients and affect their immune cells.

Following these results and experiments conducted on mice, the research team has developed a new drug to reduce the production of TNFa and IL-6 and thus delay the onset of arthritis. Such research could lead to clinical trials over the next 3 or 4 years. The results were published in "Arthritis and Rheumatism".

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