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Game changer for arthritis and anti-fibrosis drugs
Date:11/11/2012

(SALT LAKE CITY)In a discovery that can fundamentally change how drugs for arthritis, and potentially many other diseases, are made, University of Utah medical researchers have identified a way to treat inflammation while potentially minimizing a serious side effect of current medications: the increased risk for infection.

These findings provide a new roadmap for making powerful anti-inflammatory medicines that will be safer not only for arthritis patients but also for millions of others with inflammation-associated diseases, such as diabetes, traumatic brain injury, and inflammatory bowel disease, according to cardiologist Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., the U School of Medicine vice dean for research and HA and Edna Benning endowed professor of medicine who led the study. "This can change the way medication is made," he says. "If we can find a way to replace our most powerful drugs for arthritis, we might be able to develop another way to treat inflammation in other diseases that we've been unable to touch because of the danger of suppressing people's immune systems."

The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, Nature online, provides the University the opportunity to explore commercializing the technology either through collaboration outside of the state with pharmaceutical companies or within the state via initiatives such as USTAR. The Utah Legislature established USTAR (Utah Science Technology and Research) initiative in 2006 to promote economic growth and high paying jobs through research at the U of U and Utah State University.

"This is just one example of many scientific opportunities for the University and USTAR to work together to benefit not only millions of patients but build medical innovations in Utah," says Li, who's also director of the U of U Molecular Medicine program.

Two Cellular Pathways

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Contact: Phil Sahm
phil.sahm@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-2517
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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