Researchers from Newcastle University (UK), funded by Arthritis Research UK, have discovered a promising new approach for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Rather than blocking signals in the body that activate the immune system to attack one or more joints, which is how many existing treatments work, the new approach would actually prevent white blood cells cells from entering the joints and causing damage.
Using a unique drug (known at this point as PS372424) that binds to a receptor (CXCR3) only found on activated T cells (the white cells that cause damage), other white cells are unaffected. By having such a specific target, the immune system may not be compromised by the treatment.
So far, a mouse-model adapted to have a human immune system has been studied. The true potential will develop over time as PS372424 moves into clinical trials.
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