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Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2004 May;5(5):511-6.

Metalloprotease inhibitors as anti-inflammatory agents: an evolving target?

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Phlogopharm Ltd, Buntingford, Herts SG9 9JQ, UK.


The metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of enzymes that are important for tissue remodeling. These enzymes have been implicated in a number of pathologies, including cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Thus, inhibitors of MMPs may have utility in the therapy of inflammatory diseases, particularly in arthritis where current therapies do not halt the progression of the disease. Many compounds have been identified as inhibitors of MMPs, and some have progressed to the clinic. However, no compound developed as an MMP inhibitor has been licensed for clinical use thus far. This review discusses this therapeutic area and compares inhibitors of MMPs with other novel therapeutic approaches in the treatment of inflammatory disease. Inhibitors of MMPs may find utility in disorders not currently targeted, but where MMPs are involved in the pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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