Discovery leads to development of new drug for inflammatory diseases

September 1, 2017 by Julia Short, Cardiff University

A lipid (fat) whose anti-inflammatory activities were discovered by Cardiff University, with colleagues from Universities of Pittsburgh, Oregon and Michigan, is being developed into a new drug for the treatment of diseases that currently have limited therapeutic options.

Detailed study of the lipid by the groups of Professor Valerie O'Donnell (Cardiff University) and Bruce Freeman (University of Pittsburgh) found it could dampen down inflammation in circulating blood cells, making it an excellent candidate for development into a drug for several inflammatory diseases.

Now under license to the biopharmaceutical company Complexa, the new drug - CXA-10 - has just received $62M of funding to enter phase 2 clinical trials where it will be tested on patients with FSGS (a rare disease that attacks the kidneys) and (a progressive disease caused by narrowing or tightening of the pulmonary arteries).

Professor Valerie O'Donnell, Co-Director of Systems Immunity Research Institute at Cardiff University, said: "The discovery that this lipid has potent anti-inflammatory activity is now being used to develop therapies that could significantly improve the lives of people with life-threatening diseases."

Josh Tarnoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Complexa, added: "CXA-10 has already demonstrated disease-modifying effects in preclinical tests and has great potential to do the same in inflammatory conditions such as FSGS and PAH, in which many patients fail to respond to existing treatment options."

FSGS is a that leads to scarring in the kidney, reducing kidney function and causing the majority of sufferers to develop end-stage renal disease. Once dialysis is required, the is only eight years. There are currently no approved for FSGS patients, who often endure long courses of high-dose steroids without responding. CXA-10 is being investigated as a steroid-sparing agent in recently diagnosed patients.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is caused by changes to the - the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs. The walls of the arteries become thick and stiff, narrowing the space for blood to pass through and increasing blood pressure. The disease leads to exercise intolerance, breathlessness and heart failure. In the UK, around 6,000-7,000 people have . It's thought that more people have the condition and haven't been diagnosed.

Explore further: Researchers find beta blockers have positive effect in pulmonary arterial hypertension

Related Stories

Researchers find beta blockers have positive effect in pulmonary arterial hypertension

August 31, 2017
A team of Cleveland Clinic researchers found that a common heart disease medication, beta blockers, may help treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a debilitating lung disease.

New biomarkers for improved treatment of severe heart- and lung disease

January 18, 2016
New blood biomarkers reflecting vasoreactivity in lung blood vessels of patients with heart- and lung disease, can lead to simplified diagnostics and better evaluation of treatment for patients with the condition pulmonary ...

Positive results for new oral drug for pulmonary hypertension

December 23, 2015
Living with pulmonary arterial hypertension is challenging, but the chore of treating the rare heart disease may change following promising clinical trial data to be published in the Dec. 24 issue of the New England Journal ...

Circulating blood factor linked with a leading cause of kidney failure

November 8, 2012
Patients with a disease that is a leading cause of kidney failure tend to have high levels of a particular factor circulating in their blood, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American ...

Pulmonary artery stiffening is an early driver of pulmonary hypertension

June 2, 2016
Pulmonary hypertension is an abnormal elevation of pressure in the pulmonary circulation that results in stress on the heart and remodeling of blood vessels in the lung. Pulmonary hypertension is caused by a variety of factors, ...

Recommended for you

Nicotine mimics may have therapeutic effect on inflammatory diseases

July 12, 2018
Stanford researchers discovered that a receptor that binds to nicotine and to clusters of beta-amyloid molecules is found on certain types of immune cells that can act as suppressors and regulators of the immune system.

Study shows BPA risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease

July 5, 2018
A recent study in a preclinical model of inflammatory bowel disease shows dietary exposure to bisphenol-A, or BPA, found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, can increase mortality and worsen its symptoms.

Mid- to late-life increases in marker of chronic inflammation tied to dementia

July 2, 2018
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have added to evidence that rising and chronic inflammation as measured by a biomarker in the blood in middle and late age are linked to visible structural changes in the brains of people with ...

Research team diagnoses asthma with nasal brush test

June 11, 2018
Mount Sinai researchers have identified a genetic biomarker of asthma that can be tested for using a simple nasal brush and basic follow-up data analysis. This inexpensive diagnostic test can accurately identify mild to moderate ...

Eosinophilic esophagitis may be due to missing protein

June 7, 2018
Scientists have discovered that the absence of a specific protein in cells lining the esophagus may cause inflammation and tissue damage in people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). EoE affects as many as 150,000 people ...

Mouse study links triclosan, a common antimicrobial, to colonic inflammation

May 30, 2018
A large research team led by senior author Guodong Zhang at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports that the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan, found in hand soaps and toothpastes among other products, could have ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.