Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
BioConferenceLive

Collaborative Program to Develop Treatment Options for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 11 Feb 2013
A collaborative agreement between an American biomedical research institute and a European pharmaceutical manufacturer will promote the development of antibodies for treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

SLE is a potentially fatal inflammatory, multisystemic, autoimmune disease of the connective tissue, characterized by fever, skin lesions, joint pain or arthritis, and anemia. The disease often affects the kidneys, spleen, heart, and various other organs. SLE occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in the childbearing years ages 15 to 35, and is more common in those of non-European descent. There is no cure for SLE, and the goal of treatment has been to control symptoms.

To promote development of treatments for SLE the pharmaceutical company Merck Serono (Darmstadt, Germany) will collaborate with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (Manhasset, NY, USA). Merck Serono, which is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin. The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research branch of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. It maintains more than 800 scientists and investigators who are conducting research in oncology, immunology and inflammation, genetics, psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, urology, obstetrics/gynecology, and many other specialties.

Under terms of the collaborative agreement, Merck Serono will fund a research program at the Feinstein Institute and be responsible for the development and commercialization of the antibodies resulting from the collaboration. The program will focus on the use of antibodies to inhibit the action of certain proteins responsible for inflammation in the pathogenesis of SLE.

“There is a very high unmet medical need for novel therapies to treat systemic lupus erythematosus. Over the last fifty years, only one new treatment option has been approved to treat the disease,” said Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive vice-president, head of global research and early development at Merck Serono. “The Feinstein Institute is at the forefront of translational research in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and this is a rare opportunity for our researchers to collaborate with key experts in the field of systemic lupus erythematosus to develop alternative therapeutic approaches, and further strengthen our research capabilities in the field of immunology.”

“We are delighted to collaborate with Merck Serono to develop therapeutics for lupus with the potential to treat the underlying causes of the disease,” said Dr. Betty Diamond, head of the center for autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases at the Feinstein Institute. “The resources of Merck Serono will be an important addition to our efforts to provide new antibody therapeutics targeted at inflammatory processes. These mechanisms are critical to solving the problem of lupus and many other autoimmune diseases.”

Related Links:
Merck Serono
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research




comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: In the liver tissue of obese animals with type II diabetes, unhealthy, fat-filled cells are prolific (small white cells, panel A). After chronic treatment through FGF1 injections, the liver cells successfully lose fat and absorb sugar from the bloodstream (small purple cells, panel B) and more closely resemble cells of normal, non-diabetic animals (Photo courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies).

Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 Treatment Restores Glucose Control in Mouse Diabetes Model

A "vaccine" based on the metabolic regulator fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) removed the insulin resistance that characterizes type II diabetes and restored the body's natural ability to manage its glucose... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular rendering of the crystal structure of parkin (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Cinnamon Feeding Blocks Development of Parkinson's Disease in Mouse Model

A team of neurological researchers has identified a molecular mechanism by which cinnamon acts to protect neurons from damage caused by Parkinson's disease (PD) in a mouse model of the syndrome.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Precise Ion Irradiation Dosing Method Developed for Cancer Therapy

Scientists are employing nuclear physics principles to provide more effective approaches to radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Radiation therapy using heavy ions is best suitable for cancer patients with tumors that are difficult to access, such as in the brain. These particles scarcely damage the penetrated... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.