Inflammatory diseases

The search for novel anti-inflammatory drugs

Inflammatory diseases include a range of disorders/conditions including allergy, respiratory  (e.g. asthma), autoimmune (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and SLE) diseases and transplant rejection. 

These diseases arise when the innate immune system attacks the body’s own tissues; the reasons for this aberrant behaviour are many and various, and often not very well understood, although a lot of current medical research is directed at investigating these mechanisms.

Anti-Inflammatory Drug Discovery at Domainex

Very often existing and novel treatments for inflammatory diseases aim to alleviate the condition by downregulating the immune response, ideally by targeting the specific pathways that are activated in any particular disease. Domainex has expertise in inflammatory biology and has a suite of cellular assays that can be used to measure the effects of novel drugs on inflammatory cells in order to establish or confirm their mechanism of action. For example, we can study the effect of candidate drugs on inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF-alpha, interleukins, and interferons that are produced either by inflammatory cells in culture, or by primary cells from animal or human blood (e.g. Figure 1).

Inflammation Figure 1
Figure 1: Domainex’s inhibitor (DMXD-011) gives a profound reduction in the cytokine response to IMQ stimulation in human blood samples (data averaged across each patient group)

Our scientists have been innovators in a number of anti-inflammatory drug research projects, and using their medicinal chemistrycomputer-aided drug designbiochemical and structural biology expertise they have invented novel drug candidates for treatment of these conditions. One example of this work is our TBK1/IKKε project, the aim of which is to develop a treatment for a class of inflammatory diseases known as interferonopathies. Ex-vivo human studies show that our drug candidate reduces the abnormally high levels of interferon-beta seen in patients with diseases such as lupus and scleroderma, and also suppresses the consequent activation of interferon-stimulated genes.

If you would like to access the Domainex expertise in inflammatory diseases to support your own drug research programme we would be delighted to hear from you.