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New research establishes a link between immune cells, known as macrophages, and systemic sclerosis progression. The study showed that gene expression in macrophages from systemic sclerosis patients is altered, including higher activity of the susceptibility gene GSDMA. Previous studies have identified several genes linked to an increased susceptibility to systemic sclerosis, but which cells carried these variants remained poorly understood. Now, an international collaboration identified a group of immune cells – macrophages – as potential perpetrators of disease progression. Read More
Nerve cells in the skin help wounds to heal. When an injury occurs, cells known as glial cells change into repair cells and disseminate into the wound, where they help the skin to regenerate, researchers from the University of Zurich have shown. There have long been indications that for optimal healing to occur, a tissue needs to be innervated (i.e. supplied with nerves). The reason, however, remained unclear. With the help of an animal model, researchers discovered that fine nerve bundles change drastically if they are injured when a skin wound occurs. Read More
A data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended that Inventiva continue its Phase 2b clinical trial assessing lanifibranor (previously known as IVA337) for the treatment of diffuse cutaneous scleroderma, after reviewing data gathered in the study to date. The trial, which is now fully enrolled with 145 patients, compares lanifibranor to a placebo. Researchers believe that the treatment has the potential to slow disease progression in people with scleroderma by controlling fibrosis development. Read More
Researchers have found a new way of accelerating wound healing. The technology and the mode of action involves using lactic acid bacteria as vectors to produce and deliver a human chemokine on site in the wounds. The research group is the first in the world to have developed the concept for topical use and the technology could turn out to be disruptive to the field of biologic drugs. The potent effect on acceleration of wound healing is demonstrated in healthy mice but also in two models of diabetes, one model of peripheral ischemia as well as in a model using human skin biopsies. Read More