The Scripps Research Institute - At The Forefront

February 2014

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A Daily Pill to Treat Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects more than two million Americans. Untreated, it causes painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity. Current injection treatments cost from $2,000 to $2,500 a month and suppress the immune system for weeks, leaving patients at risk of developing infections like pneumonia.

A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has created
a new compound that dramatically reduces joint inflammation and could possibly be taken in a daily pill to block the development of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

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Patrick Griffin

Patrick Griffin, chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics. (Photo by Lucien Capehart.)

TSRI's collaborative approach to research is breaking new ground in treating and curing life-threatening diseases like hepatitis C and diabetes that affect millions of people each day. Help us continue our life-saving work.

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Hepatitis C's E2 protein

Picture of hepatitis C's E2 protein. (Image by Christina Corbaci, courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.)

milestones in medical science:
Getting Closer to a Hepatitis C Vaccine

Hepatitis C is one of the leading causes of cirrhosis and liver cancer. As many as 200 million people are currently thought to harbor the virus, including more than three million people in the United States, where the virus is responsible for more deaths each year than HIV. Hepatitis C can be treated, but there's no vaccine.

Research by TSRI scientists has revealed the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus that infects liver cells.
The new data should greatly speed efforts to make an effective hepatitis C vaccine.

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A compound that shows promise for treating obesity-link diabetes

A structure identified as a target for obesity-diabetes (human CES1), superimposed on a field of human fat cells with their lipids stained with a fluorescent dye.

Other News:
A Breakthrough in Drug Discovery for Diabetes

TSRI scientists have demonstrated a new and innovative drug-discovery strategy that enables researchers to rapidly select the chemical compounds that can affect cells in the way needed to treat a particular disease.

To illustrate the power of the new technique, the TSRI team used it to quickly
identify a compound that shows promise for treating obesity-linked diabetes – a complex metabolic disorder that affects 347 million people worldwide. The scientists were also able to identify the fat-cell enzyme that the compound inhibits – an enzyme that has not yet been a focus of diabetes drug development.

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TSRI President Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Michael Marletta, president and CEO of TSRI, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a 3,000-member international organization that aims to promote academic technology and innovation, and to translate its members' inventions in ways that benefit society. Fellows are nominated by their peers for demonstrating a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

facts & figures

The majority of people living with rheumatoid arthritis are women, but men and children can also develop the condition. About one in 1,000 children are afflicted with arthritis each year.

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