A treatment for psoriasis
Researchers at the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and the University of Ghent have discovered a potential treatment for psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease. The team has, in fact, discovered the molecular mechanism through which gene mutations cause a specific chronic inflammation in patients affected by psoriasis. Late April, the results of the study were published in the scientific journal EMBO Reports.
Psoriasis, which affects between 2 and 4 % of the population in the western world, is characterised by scaly red patches on the patient’s skin and by an overly active immune system. This condition may be hereditary, but it can also be caused by environmental factors. There is no cure for this condition, and treatment currently available only helps to ease the symptoms.
The research team, led by Professor Rudi Beyaert, studied the gene mutations causing chronic inflammation in patients affected by the disease. They found that the interaction between the gene mutations and a protein suppresses the immune system, which causes inflammation.
The researchers then identified a potential treatment based on their findings. This treatment consists of chemical substances that suppress the protein's activity in order to prevent an immune response. The researchers are hoping to find an industry partner to help them develop an effective drug to treat psoriasis based on their findings.