More than 50% of all deaths worldwide are attributable to inflammation-related diseases. Chronic inflammation-mediated diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and joint ailments, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cardiovascular illnesses are examples of inflammatory conditions that present as great threats to human health. Although rest, diet and exercise are complementary treatment options for inflammatory diseases, medications also play a significant role in managing the disease. The good news is that researchers are continuously working on new drug treatments to improve the body’s response to inflammation.
APPA, The Novel Drug
Lifestyles have a strong impact on managing chronic inflammation because they assist in controlling weight and improving sleep factors that can decrease the risks of getting illnesses. In addition to treating the cause of inflammation with drugs such as antibiotics for infections, natural supplements can also improve the symptoms of the condition. For example, cannabidiol (CBD), which is extracted directly from the hemp plant, is hailed for its effectiveness in treating epilepsy syndromes. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug, Epidiolex, that contains an active ingredient from marijuana to treat severe forms of epilepsy. It is also used to help reduce anxiety, and is an option for alleviating different types of chronic pain.
Another new drug is APPA, which is under development by UK-based biotech company, AKL Research & Development (AKLRD). It is intended for use in osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis that affects millions of people worldwide. Formal clinical evaluations have been successful, and a study revealed that APPA has an anti-inflammatory potential without weakening the body’s defence against infection. Robert Moots of the University of Liverpool and Aintree University Hospital said, “We have shown that APPA has the potential to dampen down that bad inflammation that causes rheumatic diseases — but not impact on the crucial antimicrobial function of neutrophils. We have been waiting for too many years for such a selective drug.”
A similar drug also yielded positive outcomes for people with Still’s disease, where symptoms include joint pain, fever and a rash. Interleukin-18 is a protein involved in the body’s immune response. Tests carried out by researchers at the Universite de Geneve on patients affected by the serious condition, which leads to an acute inflammatory response, have been positive. The results indicated that half of the subjects responded favorably to the drug, showing reduced symptoms of the disease during 12 weeks of follow-up.
IL-18 has also the potential to treat other organ diseases that are associated with an impaired production of the IL-18 and its inhibitor, for which there is no effective treatment protocol. It was used on a child who had a rare inflammatory disease that resisted all types of treatment. She responded well to the IL-18 treatment and can lead a normal life using the IL-18 inhibitor therapy.
Inflammation can damage the body’s cells, tissues and organs. In the long-term, it can cause scarring and the development of debilitating and degenerative diseases. Medications can alleviate the symptoms of inflammation, and new research continues to deliver promising results that improve the symptoms of these conditions.