The drug blocks formation of genes that provoke this disease. Similar products are developed in other countries, but they are very expensive. A laboratory at the Institute of Immunology of FMBA Russia managed to create inexpensive and effective medicine.
The scientists used small RNA molecules to suppress the production of proinflammatory cytokines. These are genes that contribute to inflammatory process in lungs and lead to dyspnea.
“A monoclonal antibody binds to the protein against which it was developed. In this case, it is a cytokine. As a result, the monoclonal antibody prevents cytokine from exerting its negative biological effect,” said Igor Shilovsky, Head of Antiviral Immunity Laboratory at the Institute of Immunology.
“The main benefit of using drugs based on small interfering RNA molecules is their high efficacy (up to 90%). An additional attractive aspect is relatively low cost of the method. RNAs are synthesized chemically. The course of treatment is about 100 times cheaper than in case of using biologics, and the medicine is fairly simple to scale,” said Musa Khaitov, Director of the Institute of immunology and Corresponding Member of RAS.
The Russian drug has successfully passed all phases of preclinical studies and is ready for clinical trials. Safety studies allowed to categorize the drug as a low-toxic compound.