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Infectious disease

Viral infection


Cell culture and mouse studies suggest inhibiting IL-6 could help treat Ross River virus (RRV)-induced bone loss. In cultured human osteoblasts, RRV infection increased osteoclastogenesis and the production of proinflammatory factors, including IL-6, compared with saline. In mice, RRV infection led to viral replication within the bone and bone loss, but an IL-6-neutralizing antibody decreased both bone loss and viral titers in joints compared with a control antibody. Next steps include testing anti-IL-6 drugs in the model.
Johnson & Johnson's anti-IL-6 antibody Sylvant siltuximab is approved to treat multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD).
At least 11 other companies have IL-6 antibodies in Phase II or earlier testing for indications including cancer and autoimmune diseases.

SciBX 7(19); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.562
Published online May 15, 2014

Patent status not applicable; unavailable for licensing

Chen, W. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online April 14, 2014;
Contact: Suresh Mahalingam, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia