On Thursday, UCB announced its intention to submit regulatory applications for Cimzia ® (certolizumab pegol) by the end of this year. The drug is designed to treat psoriatic arthritis, an inflammation of the joints, or arthritis, which typically occurs in combination with psoriasis, a skin disorder. People with PsA generally suffer from stiff, painful joints, and experience warmth and swelling in their joints and surrounding tissues. The majority of PsA sufferers develop psoriasis, a common disorder affecting about 2 to 3% of people worldwide, before joint problems occur, however, in some cases the development process can be the other way around. Left untreated PsA, which affects about 24 in 10, 000 people, can be a disabling disease. According to most estimates between 5 and 10% of individuals with psoriasis will develop PsA, however some studies estimate the figure to be as high as 30%.
Immunological diseases, such as eczema and asthma, are on the increase in westernised society and represent a major challenge for 21st century medicine. A new study has shown, for the first time, that growing up on a farm directly affects the regulation of the immune system and causes a reduction in the immunological responses to food proteins. The research, led by the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, found that spending early life in a complex farm environment increased the number of regulatory T-lymphocytes, the cells that damp down the immune system and limit immune responses. Dr Marie Lewis, Research Associate in Infection and Immunity at the School of Veterinary Sciences, who led the research, said: "Many large-scale epidemiological studies have suggested that growing up on a farm is linked to a reduced likelihood of developing allergic disease.
Increased exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of both food allergies and eczema in children, according to a new scientific study. Researchers from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, along with several Australian institutions, have found that children living in areas with lower levels of sunlight are at greater risk of developing food allergies and the skin condition eczema, compared to those in areas with higher UV. The research team used data from a study of Australian children and analysed how rates of food allergy, eczema and asthma varied throughout the country. As well as finding a link between latitude and allergies to peanut and egg, the results showed that on average children in the south of the country are twice as likely to develop eczema as those in the north.
New research from Gil Yosipovitch, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and a world-renowned itch expert, shows that how good scratching an itch feels is related to the itch's location. While previous studies by Yosipovitch have shown the pleasurability of itching, analysis of itch relief at different body sites and related pleasurability had not been performed until now. The study was published online this month by the British Journal of Dermatology. "The goal of this study was to examine the role of the pleasurability of scratching in providing relief for itch, " Yosipovitch explained. "We first evaluated whether itch intensity was perceived differently at three body sites, and then we investigated the potential correlation between the pleasurability and the itch relief induced by scratching.
Around 7.5 million Americans, which is about 2.2% of the population, suffer from psoriaris, an autoimmune disease causing red, flaky skin. A new review in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS) reveals that patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a type of arthritis that affects nearly 48% of patients with the skin disease psoriasis, gain substantial benefits from medications or biologic agents that target T-cells, white blood cells involved in the body's immune system. Lead study author Michael S. Day, M.D., MPhil, a resident orthopedic surgeon with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases explains: "Although these new immunosuppressive agents are expensive, they are the only agents that have demonstrated a decrease in radiologic progression of peripheral arthritis, and can be used to manage associated types of inflammation, as well as skin and nail disease.