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On the Verge of a Psoriasis Cure

On the Verge of a Psoriasis Cure

September 3, 2013

Medical Research

I_1_Amir Aharoni

Dr. Amir Aharoni in his lab

Israel 21C — About four million Americans suffer from psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin disease that causes patches of inflamed, silvery-white scabs.

There is currently no cure for the condition, but BGU researchers believe they are on the path to formulating a groundbreaking new drug candidate that provides hope to psoriasis sufferers.

BGU’s research, conducted in collaboration with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, reveals that inhibiting the immune system protein Interleukin 17 (IL-17) could be the key to controlling the skin disease. The findings were reported in a new paper published in Chemistry and Biology.

“Psoriasis is mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines,” says researcher Dr. Amir Aharoni of BGU’s Department of Life Sciences and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.

“One of the main cytokines that plays a role in this and other autoimmune diseases is IL-17. Our goal was to inhibit IL-17’s action and slow the progression of several of these diseases,” says Dr. Aharoni.

Dr. Aharoni and his team are also successfully inhibiting other cytokines that play a major role in Crohn’s disease and colitis, two common autoimmune disorders affecting the digestive tract.

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