This week in therapeutics




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Infectious disease


IL-1b; IL-18; NLR family CARD domain containing 4 (NLRC4); caspase-1 (CASP1)

Mouse studies suggest inhibiting inflammasome activation could help treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. In mice infected with P. aeruginosa, knockout of inflammasome activation and signaling components, including Nlrc4, Casp1, Il-1b or Il-18, led to increased bacterial clearance from the airways and decreased tissue damage compared with no knockout. Next steps include testing available inhibitors of inflammasome signaling in patients with pneumonia.
At least seven companies have inhibitors or antibodies targeting IL-1b in development stages ranging from preclinical to marketed for various indications.
GlaxoSmithKline plc's 1070806, an mAb against IL-18, is in Phase I testing for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and diabetes.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s VX-765, a CASP1 inhibitor, is in Phase II testing to treat epilepsy.

SciBX 6(11); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.269
Published online March 21, 2013

Patent status not applicable; unavailable for licensing

Cohen, T.S. & Prince, A.S. J. Clin. Invest.; published online March 8, 2013;
Contact: Alice Prince, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.