Ben-Gurion University researchers have developed a dynamic "smart" drug that targets inflammation in a site-specific manner and could enhance the body's natural ability to fight infection and reduce side-effects.
"This development is important because inhibition of inflammation in a non-specific manner reduces the natural ability to fight infections and is a common side effect of anti-inflammatory biologic therapeutics," said one of the researchers Peleg Rider from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel.
The uniqueness of this novel anti-inflammatory molecule, reported in the current issue of Journal of Immunology
, can be found in a singular property. When injected, it acts as a non-active drug. However, a localized site with excessive inflammation will activate it, the study said.
Most other anti-inflammatory agents effectively inhibit inflammatory processes, though in a non-specific manner and in areas that include sites of necessary normal inflammatory homeostasis. The researchers demonstrated their findings in a mouse model of local inflammation.
"The beauty of this invention lies in the use of a known natural biological code. We mimicked a natural process that occurs during inflammation," Rider said. "Upon resolution of inflammation, the activation of the protein is also reduced and side effects are avoided," he added.