Inflammatory and Immune

Inflammatory and immune disorders represent a significant burden to society. There are over 80 recognized autoimmune disorders, which are conditions caused by an acute or chronic imbalance in the immune system. In these conditions, cells of the immune system begin to attack certain tissues or organs in the body, resulting in tissue damage and loss of function. Some inflammatory and immune conditions are associated with age-related conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), but some are due to other causes that may be genetic, environmental or a combination of both (e.g., Type 1 diabetes, IBD). Still other conditions may reflect complications associated with the treatment of other conditions (e.g., GvHD, a frequent complication associated with transplant procedures used to treat leukemia or related blood-borne cancers). Each of these conditions shares certain biological characteristics, in that the immune system imbalance results from the inappropriate activation of certain populations of immune cells that subsequently results in significant tissue damage and destruction. This immune imbalance may result in a complex cascade of inflammation that can result in pain, progressive tissue deterioration and loss of function. While currently available immunomodulatory drugs have proven to be effective for many patients, they have failed to adequately address the needs of many other patients that suffer from inflammatory and immune disorders.
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