The University of Liverpool is collaborating on a project to help take forward a potential new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Immunologist Dr Helen Wright, from the University’s Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences, is working with bioscience company New Amsterdam Sciences to lead additional supportive studies for their drug candidate NAS150.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that leads to a progressive loss of joint tissue and function that can rapidly diminish mobility and quality of life in patients.
Dr Wright’s research is focused on understanding how neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that normally defends against foreign invaders, is involved in attacking the body’s own joint tissue in rheumatoid arthritis.
Under the collaboration, Dr Wright will lead new studies designed to provide additional data on how NAS150 targets inflammation caused by uncontrolled neutrophil-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in joints.
The data collected will support the company’s Phase 2 initiatives to advance NAS150 as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment alternative.
Dr Wright said: “I am delighted to be working with New Amsterdam Sciences on this exciting new project. NAS150 has real potential as a novel treatment for neutrophil-driven diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. There is a real need for more targeted approaches to treating immune-mediated diseases and targeting ROS may be the key to switching off the cycle of unwanted neutrophil activation that is associated with damage to joints and tissues.
“This new collaboration will determine the effect of NAS150 on several aspects of neutrophil ROS production and activation, and provide important new information on how NAS150 can modulate the immune response in neutrophil-driven diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.”
Dr Chris van de Wetering from New Amsterdam Sciences added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with Dr Wright and have her lead these pivotal studies. Her expertise in neutrophil biology and rheumatoid arthritis will be key in demonstrating how NAS150 can treat this disease.”