A new family of anti-inflammatory drugs with the same effects as steroids but without the nasty side effects could be a new weapon with which to fight inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Developed by the Hebrew Faculty of Medicine at the University of Jerusalem, these new drugs called Multi Functional Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (MFAID’s)
The most common drugs currently used to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are steroids, which are potent but are associated with severe side effects. These include metabolic changes (weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes), organ-specific effects (glaucoma, cataracts, bone fragility), and even psychotrophic side effects (depression, psychosis).
For decades, alternatives to steroids, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal alternative anti-inflammatory drugs) have been being developed. However NSAID’s are simply not as effective as steroids. Not only are NSAIDs are less potent but they also have their own serious side effects, including cardiovascular disorders, stomach bleeding and respiratory disorders.
What all these drugs have in common is that they share biochemical mechanisms. A key one among them is the action of an enzyme family (PLA2) that initiates the production of inflammation.
The researchers who developed the new MFAID’s managed to create an synthetic drug that controls the production of PLA2, which in turn reduces all the body’s inflammatory mechanisms, making the drug multi functional for all inflammatory responses and conditions.
What is more MFAIDs have shown excellent safety and were found efficient in treating diverse inflammatory/allergic conditions in animal, using different methods of administration including oral, rectal, intravenous, inhaled and injected.[quote]In particular, in two clinical studies showed that MFAIDs are safe and efficient in treating contact dermatitis, when incorporated into skin cream.[/quote]
This new family of anti inflammatory drugs are being developed by aUKpharmaceutical company, Morria Biopharmaceuticals, with one product in development being a skin cream for eczema.