Scientists unveil new pathway for rheumatoid arthritis

A research team of scientists from Biogen Idec and the University of Geneva say they have found a new pathway to treat rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that affects up to one percent of the world's population. Their work indicates that inhibiting the TWEAK molecule can interrupt the disease. TWEAK is one of the family of molecules known as Tumor Necrosis Factor--or TNF--that plays a big role in the immune system and inflammation. TNF creates the inflammatory proteins cytokines and chemokines and TNF-inhibiting therapies are used to treat RA. This new research indicates that TWEAK promotes inflammatory proteins and metalloprotease enzymes, stimulating angiogenesis in synovial tissue. And, they say, it seems apparent that TWEAK promotes symptoms common to RA. Their work may well quickly trigger new research into therapies that can inhibit TWEAK, as the new biologics for treating RA--such as Enbrel and Remicade--are blockbuster therapies.

- check out the report on Biogen Idec from Drug Researcher