Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
PZ HTL SA

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




Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Biopsy of small bowel showing celiac disease manifested by blunting of villi, crypt hyperplasia, and lymphocyte infiltration of crypts (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Reduced Elafin Levels Associated with Celiac Disease Bowel Inflammation

Levels of the enzyme elafin, an endogenous serine protease inhibitor, were lower in the small intestinal epithelium of patients with active celiac disease (CD) as compared to similar tissue from control patients.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel

Retinoic Acid Prevents Precancerous Breast Cells from Progressing to Full-Blown Cancer

Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, was found to prevent pre-cancerous breast cells from progressing to full-blown cancer but did not have any effect on breast tumor cells. Investigators at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA, USA) worked with a novel breast cancer model that had been developed by treating... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.