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Discovery & Development Drug Discovery

Putting the Brakes on Inflammation

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.”

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  1.  S Narendran et al, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00537-z

About the Author

Maryam Mahdi

Associate Editor

After finishing my degree, I envisioned a career in science communications. However, life took an unexpected turn and I ended up teaching abroad. Though the experience was amazing and I learned a great deal from it, I jumped at the opportunity to work for Texere. I'm excited to see where this new journey takes me!

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