Hamilton, ON (March 30, 2010) Aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) remain the most common treatment to relieve symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. But despite their widespread use (around 2.5 million Canadians have osteoarthritis) these medications are also known to cause severe, sometimes life-threatening adverse effects within the body, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract.
A novel anti-inflammatory drug being developed and commercialized by an inflammation expert at McMaster University has shown promise in relieving symptoms of inflammation, while substantially reducing the incidence of bleeding and intestinal damage often caused by NSAIDs.
The research is published in the March issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology.
John Wallace, a pharmacologist and director of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University, compared naproxen, a commonly used NSAID, to a novel anti-inflammatory drug, ATB-346, which he developed in collaboration with a team of Italian chemists and is now commercializing through his company, Antibe Therapeutics Inc.
ATB-346 is a derivative of naproxen which releases hydrogen sulfide. Evidence from animal studies suggests that in small quantities, hydrogen sulfide can protect the stomach from injury and can accelerate the healing of pre-existing ulcers.
"I've been working on NSAIDs for over 20 years," said Wallace, a professor of medicine in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. "This particular drug is, by far, the shining star. We've tested it in every model where it should fail, and it has performed exceptionally well."
To examine the gastrointestinal safety and anti-inflammatory effectiveness of ATB-346, Wallace and his co-investigators tested the drug in healthy rats as well as those with arthritis and inflammation. The researchers also examin
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