Nanogel-based delivery of mycophenolic acid ameliorates systemic lupus erythematosus in mice.
Scientists at Yale University have designed and tested a drug delivery system that shows early promise for improved treatment of lupus and other chronic, uncured autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes.
In systemic lupus erythematosus, the body attacks itself for largely mysterious reasons, leading to serious tissue inflammation and organ damage. Current drug treatments address symptoms only and can require life-long daily use at toxic doses.
In a study published online March 1 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yale researchers report using biodegradable nanoparticles to deliver relatively low drug doses that extended the lives of laboratory animals. In tests on mice, prophylactic use of the drug-laden nanoparticles, called nanogels, increased by three months the median survival time of lupus-prone mice, and by two months mice that already had severe kidney damage, a common consequence of lupus.
“Three months of a mouse’s life is roughly equivalent to more than eight years of a human life, so this is dramatic,” said Tarek Fahmy, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Yale, a principal investigator of the paper. “We’ll keep at this, because the potential for human benefit is clear and promising.”
“We are very excited to see such promising findings resulting from our initial novel research grant to Dr. Fahmy and his colleagues,” said Margaret Dowd, president and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute, which provided financial support for the work. “He came to us with a highly innovative approach to the design of a new drug delivery system that would target disease-causing cells. Like most LRI-funded projects, Dr. Fahmy’s work is opening the door to major advances in treatment for lupus with broader implications for other autoimmune diseases.”
Other authors are Eric Stern, Qin A. Wang, Leah D. DiPlacido and Michael Kashgarian.
Contact: Eric Gershon email@example.com 203-432-8555. Yale University Office of Public Affairs and Communications, 2 Whitney Avenue, Suite 330, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.