Putting the Brakes on Inflammation
Can a new approach halt retinal degradation for good?
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
Geographic atrophy (GA) affects millions of patients worldwide and is characterized by the degradation of the retina following inflammasome-mediated events in the eye. Despite the challenges the disease presents, treatment options are scarce. But new research points to Kamuvudines – molecules that inhibit the inflammatory behavior of the innate immune system – in preventing retinal degradation in GA patients (1).
“Kamuvudines are modified derivatives of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) – a class of anti-HIV drug,” says Jayakrishna Ambati, co-founder of Inflammasome Therapeutics and senior author of the study. “They block retinal cell death mediated by amyloid beta molecules.” Kamuvudines are less toxic than traditional NRTIs, making them suitable for long-term use.
The team is also exploring the potential of Kamuvudines in treating other inflammasome-mediated conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Ambati says, “Kamuvudines have broad applications. Using them, we have an opportunity to make a difference to the many patients who live with debilitating diseases that have previously been difficult to treat.”
- S Narendran et al, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00537-z