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Mar 21, 2013
 |  BC Innovations  |  Tools & Techniques

Nanoparticles for lupus

A Yale University group has designed a nanoparticle that selectively delivered an immunosuppressant to immune cells and improved survival in mouse models of lupus.1 The nanoparticle delivery platform has been exclusively licensed to Immunova LLC, which is selecting an anti-inflammatory compound to take into the clinic.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines and autoantibodies that cause damage to multiple tissues, including the kidneys, CNS, joints and skin.

Marketed drugs for the disease have side effects including GI toxicities and increased risk of infection from immunosuppression. Thus, a continuing challenge is figuring out how to target and suppress only the immune cells that trigger autoimmunity.

The Yale group, led by Tarek Fahmy, hypothesized that a nanoparticle drug delivery system could selectively deliver immunosuppressants to autoreactive immune cells. Prior work by a University of Virginia team showed that nanoparticles traveled to the sites of renal tissue inflammation in a lupus mouse model.2

"We are proposing that the current challenge in autoimmune diseases is not exclusively limited to drug discovery but in...

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