Navigation Links
New lupus drug results from Scripps Research technology
Date:3/10/2011

LA JOLLA, CA March 9, 2011 For Immediate Release Scientific advances at The Scripps Research Institute were key to laying the foundation for the new drug Benlysta (belimumab), approved today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Benlysta, which treats the most common type of lupus, is the first in a new class of pharmaceuticals that prevents the body from attacking its own critical tissues.

"I am deeply gratified that our scientific findings have proven so valuable to drug discovery," said Richard A. Lerner, MD, president of Scripps Research. "This development underlines the importance of basic academic science in laying important groundwork for life-saving medical advances."

Benlysta, developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Human Genome Sciences, is the first new drug treatment for lupus in 50 years.

Short-Circuiting the Cycle of Lupus

Benlysta was approved for systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic, life-threatening inflammatory disease affecting the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs. It is often simply referred to as "lupus" (although there are other types of lupus, including one that affects solely the skin). Estimates of the number of Americans affected by sytemic lupus erythematosus range from 161,000 to 1.5 million, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Lupus can occur at any age, but first appears largely in 15- to 40-year-olds, the majority of whom are women.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which occurs when a person's body produces an immune response against its own tissues instead of solely attacking foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and other toxins.

Symptoms can include debilitating fatigue, painful and swollen joints, fever, skin rash, and kidney problems. The disease can also lead to arthritis, kidney failure, heart and lung inflammation, central nervous system abnormalities, inflammation of the blood vessels, and blood disorders.

Benlysta (itself a type of immune molecule) acts by targeting a specific protein called B-lymphocyte stimulator, or BLyS, involved in stimulating the "autoantibodies" causing lupus and certain other autoimmune disorders.

Benlysta is the first approved drug that disables BLyS, thus preventing the immune system's destructive attacks against the body.

The Foundation In the 1980s the therapeutic potential of antibodieswhich recognize a wide range of foreign pathogens, then alert the immune system to the presence of the invaderswas widely recognized, as they are an important part of the body's natural system for fighting illness. But tapping that potential had proven difficult. Researchers at the time were working mainly with short snippets of antibodies and testing their effects through a slow and painstaking petri-dish process.

But Lerner led a Scripps Research team that made two critical advances to transform the field, ultimately leading to the discovery and development of drugs such as Benlysta.

The researchers first developed a method of combining different pieces of antibodies isolated from human or animal cells into proteins long enough to encompass natural antibodies' most critical portionsthe parts actually binding to and neutralizing infectious agents or otherwise unwanted material. The scientists dubbed this technique "repertoire cloning," because it allowed them to build libraries of compounds that encompassed the full repertoire of a natural immune system.

This was a game-changing development.

Eliminating the Petri-Dish Bottleneck

But even with an expansive repertoire, putting it to use was a separate problem. It was a second key Scripps Research discovery that helped eliminate the petri-dish bottleneck.

In 1991, Lerner and his colleagues pioneered a technique for employing phage display to facilitate large "combinatorial antibody libraries" to find human antibodies that could be used therapeutically.

Combinatorial antibody libraries allow human antibodies to be identified directly by searching among billions of antibody variants taken from human blood samples to find those that bind to a particular targetsuch as BLySinvolved in a particular disease.

In this technique, the scientists hijack the inner workings of phages (viruses that attack bacteria). By inserting genetic sequences encoding active portions of antibodies, the researchers are able to make phages displaying on their surfaces the antibody of interest. These antibody-displaying phage particles can then be tested en masse for their ability to bind to molecules of interest. Successful binders can then be purified and identified as a target for additional research.

With the British Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Scripps Research licensed the inventions to Cambridge Antibody Technology (now part of AstraZeneca) to facilitate exploitation of the technology for creation of new medicines. In 1999, Cambridge Antibody Technology partnered with Human Genome Sciences, which entered into a co-development and commercialization agreement with GlaxoSmithKline in 2006.

While much technology has changed over the decades, variations of combinatorial antibody libraries are still a mainstay of drug discovery research. Commercialized throughout the 1990s, the promise of this method is now beginning to be realizedtoday with Benlysta, tomorrow, Lerner predicts, with other life-saving drugs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
2. Antibodies linked to cardiovascular disease increase in patients with active lupus
3. New Clues to Lupus Link With Heart Disease
4. Psychotherapy Can Help People With Lupus Cope
5. Sisters Helping Sisters: A New Lupus Research Study to Follow Sisters of Lupus Patients
6. Lupus Awareness Month Kicks Off at Rockefeller Center: EHE International Donates Display Window to S.L.E. Lupus Foundation for May
7. Genealogy may affect clinical differences in systemic lupus erythmatosus patients
8. Chinese systemic lupus erythematosus data reveal differences in epidemiology across continents
9. Researchers uncover biological rationale for why intensive lupus treatment works
10. Overactive Blood Platelets May Play Role in Lupus
11. Correction: Abatacept found ineffective in treatment of non-life threatening lupus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/27/2017)... Neb. (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... was named the 2017 North American CAREGiverSM of the Year for her extraordinary ... selects one of its 60,000 North American professional caregivers for the prestigious award ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Are you investing in the safety of your friends and ... the summer. While most of us assume this type of accident will never happen ... people are taking the time to learn how to respond effectively or prevent these ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... Journal ... adults. It can have severe consequences to overall dental health, including complications with speech, ... often turn to dental implants to replace lost teeth. As the number of tooth ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Elisabete Miranda, president and ... by Enterprising Women magazine as one of its 2017 Enterprising Women of the ... Winners have demonstrated that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... RawTrition now brings you BioEnergy ... get nutrients from SUPERFOODS! , RawTrition is taking nutrients to the next ... because the body recognizes its raw form (unlike the synthetically made options that are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... YORK , April 19, 2017 ... This report on the prostate cancer therapeutics ... the global market. Increasing prevalence of prostate cancer, ... innovation in the development of new drugs & ... prostate cancer drug due to lesser side effects ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... PUNE, India , April 19, 2017 ... Type and Application, Forecast to 2022 report has covered and ... provides statistics and information on market size, shares and growth ... with major drivers, challenges and opportunities in the global market. ... Browse 152 Tables and ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... an immune response in pets such as canine, ... are of various types such as Attenuated Live ... Vaccines, DNA Vaccines and Recombinant Vaccines. Attenuated live ... virus or bacteria, which have been weakend under ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: