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The review in Drug Discovery Today, click here for full article
The keynote review in Drug Discovery Today, click here for full article

Internal News - 10 October 2006

Review sheds light on way forward for respiratory disease treatments

A prestigious review of new research that could lead to cures for a range of respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has been published by scientists in the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology.

David Medina-Tato, Dr Malcom Watson and Professor Stephen Ward were invited to submit the keynote review to Drug Discovery Today, the world’s leading journal in the pharmaceutical area, following recent advances in the field.

The review summarises the latest research into developing drugs that interfere with the ability of circulating blood cells, also known as leukocytes, to migrate from the blood into airway tissue.

Leukocytes constitute a key component of body’s normal immune defence mechanism, but can abnormally accumulate and become activated in the airways during a range of respiratory diseases.

The scientists assessed the pre-clinical and clinical evidence that supports the development of new treatments that target the leukocyte’s so-called navigation mechanisms - namely the ability to detect and move toward tissue perceived to be injured or inflamed.

The review will be used by scientists in academia and the pharmaceutical industry to help develop this area for the future.

“Respiratory diseases are among the most significant diseases in terms of their disabling effects and healthcare burden,” said Professor Ward.

“A characteristic feature of almost all respiratory diseases is the accumulation and activation of inflammatory leukocytes in the lungs or airway.

“Recent advances in the understanding of the molecules and intracellular signalling events controlling these processes are now translating to new therapeutic entities.

“This area of research and its potential market are of such importance that every leading pharmaceutical company maintains a significant interest in developing agents that regulate leukocyte recruitment as potential anti-inflammatory drugs.

“The keynote type of review is a very prestigious series of reviews, with only three or four of these kinds of reviews published each year, so we are delighted to have been invited to contribute the advancement of the field in this way.

“There is a wealth of information out there concerning the molecular and biochemical events that allow leukocytes to navigate throughout the body.

“In many ways, this was a huge effort to pull this information together and collate it into an accessible yet comprehensive article. While, this area of research is rapidly moving and evolving, we hope that it will provide a useful point of reference for academic and industrial researchers alike, for several years to come.”