New smart drug only reduces site-specific inflammation

New York, July 23 (IANS) A dynamic “smart” drug that targets inflammation in a site-specific manner and could enhance the body’s natural ability to fight infection and reduce side-effects has been developed.

“This development is important because inhibition of inflammation in a non-specific manner reduces the natural ability to fight infections and is a common side effect of anti-inflammatory biologic therapeutics,” said one of the researchers Peleg Rider from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel.

The uniqueness of this novel anti-inflammatory molecule, reported in the current issue of Journal of Immunology, can be found in a singular property.

When injected, it acts as a non-active drug. However, a localised site with excessive inflammation will activate it, the study said.

Most other anti-inflammatory agents effectively inhibit inflammatory processes, though in a non-specific manner and in areas that include sites of necessary normal inflammatory homeostasis.

“The beauty of this invention lies in the use of a known natural biological code,” Rider said.

“We mimicked a natural process that occurs during inflammation,” he added.

The researchers demonstrated their findings in a mouse model of local inflammation.

“Upon resolution of inflammation, the activation of the protein is also reduced and side effects are avoided,” Rider said.

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