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BGU Researcher Is On the Verge of a Psoriasis Cure

BGU Researcher Is On the Verge of a Psoriasis Cure

September 3, 2013

Medical Research, Natural Sciences

Israel21C — 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.

Dr. Amir Aharoni

Dr. Amir Aharoni

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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