Noteworthy Broad-brush approach to connective tissue disorders

Connective tissue disorders encompass a wide variety of conditions, from rheumatoid arthritis to cirrhosis to scleroderma. While they have been treated as individual diseases, advances in understanding of the underlying biology are making clear the connections between them and the logic of attempting to treat them as a group.

One of the first biotechnology companies to do so is Connective Therapeutics Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif., startup that is focused on the interaction of the immune system with connective tissues. The company's goal is to make use of the body's natural physiology to restore the normal functioning of the proteins and cellular interactions that are disregulated in chronic connective tissue diseases.