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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Oct;16(10):1601-13.

The anti-inflammatory effect of A3 adenosine receptor agonists: a novel targeted therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Can-Fite BioPharma, 10 Bareket Street, PO Box 7537, Petach-Tikva 49170, Israel.


Targeting the A(3) adenosine receptor (A(3)AR) to combat inflammation is a new concept based on two findings. First, A(3)AR is highly expressed in inflammatory cells, whereas low expression is found in normal tissues. This receptor was also found to be overexpressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, reflecting receptor status in the remote inflammatory process. Second, A(3)AR activation with a specific agonist induces de-regulation of the NF-kappaB signaling pathway in inflammatory cells, as well as initiation of immunomodulatory effects. The A(3)AR agonist CF-101 (known generically as IB-MECA) induces anti-inflammatory effects in experimental animal models of collagen- and adjuvant-induced arthritis. Combined therapy with CF-101 and methotrexate in adjuvant-induced arthritis rats yielded an additive anti-inflammatory effect. Methotrexate induced upregulation of A(3)AR, rendering the inflammatory cells more susceptible to CF-101. In Phase I and in Phase IIa human studies, CF-101 was safe, well tolerated and showed strong evidence of an anti-inflammatory effect in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In peripheral blood mononuclear cells withdrawn from the patients at base line, a statistically significant correlation between A(3)AR expression level and response to the drug was noted. It is suggested that A(3)AR may serve as a biologic marker to predict patient response to the drug. Taken together, this information suggests that A(3)AR agonists may be a new family of orally bioavailable drugs to be developed as potent inhibitors of autoimmune-inflammatory diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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