A joint research team of local hospitals has developed a humanized antibody that can treat lupus nephritis, an autoimmune disease, and have proven its effectiveness in an animal experiment, Severance Hospital said Tuesday.
|Professors Lee Sang-won (left) and Moon Jin-hee|
Lupus nephritis is one of the most significant complications of systemic lupus erythematosus and manifests as diseases such as proteinuria, nephrotic syndrome, acute renal failure, and chronic renal failure.
Currently, hospitals use glucocorticoid and immunosuppressants to treat the illness. However, the need to develop a safer and stronger drug has recently emerged, as the disease can progress into terminal renal failure despite active treatment.
The team, led by Professor Lee Sang-won at Severance Hospital and Professor Moon Jin-hee at Ajou University College of Pharmacy, developed a humanized antibody that neutralizes the inflammatory agent AIMP1 cytokine and injected it into an animal model with spontaneous lupus nephritis.
As a result, the team saw improvement in the survival rate and proteinuria of lupus nephritis mice as well as the glomerular damage and deposition of inflammatory factors. Also, the treatment reduced the levels of various inflammatory factors (AIMP1, IL-17A) in the blood and increased anti-inflammatory factors such as IL-10.
“The study confirmed that humanized AIMP1 cytokine neutralizing antibodies could effectively inhibit the progression of lupus nephritis,” Professor Lee said. “Further research and development could lead to new immunomodulatory antibody therapies for the treatment of lupus nephritis.”
The journal Biomaterials published the results of the study.
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