Immune cells' "master switch" offers blockbuster drug target

In an effort to find out why close to a third of all rheumatoid arthritis patients don't respond to a blockbuster class of anti-TNF drugs, researchers in the UK say they have found a "master switch" on immune cells that could provide a brand new drug target capable of tackling a slate of inflammatory conditions--as well as offering a new pathway to bolstering the human immune system. "Our results show that IRF5 is the master switch in a key set of immune cells, which determines the profile of genes that get turned on in those cells," Irina Udalova, senior researcher on the study, said in a statement. Report