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Researchers in Europe say a new type of biological molecule called nanobodies, or miniantibodies, can block inflammation and reduce pain in mice — a technique they describe as a next-generation strategy against inflammatory diseases.
The research team also tested these nanobodies in a sample of human blood. The team members found that the nanobodies were 1,000 times more potent in hindering the release of inflammatory molecules than similar, small-molecule drug candidates.
In experiments that were performed on mice with kidney inflammation and an itchy skin condition called allergic contact dermatitis, injections of one type of nanobody reduced inflammation and relieved such disease symptoms as pain with no apparent side effects. Koch-Nolte's group then tested a similar nanobody in a sample of human blood with immune cells. The nanobody blocked P2X7 at a rate that was 1,000 times more effective than current drugs that target P2X7.